The Health Dangers Of Micro-Apartments And Living In Cramped Spaces

What Is A Micro UnitDefying laws set in the 1980s, New York City is now creating more micro apartments. These tiny living spaces are being marketed to tenants who are increasingly having great difficulties navigating New York City’s absurdly expensive housing market. Researchers are warning of the health dangers of residing in these cramped living spaces.

According to the Observer, the director of design for human health at Boston Architectural College has stated that living in micro-apartments can be very unhealthy and can exacerbate stress factors for people who live in them. He sites the increase of domestic abuse, alcoholism, and claustrophobia that occurs when people live in extremely close quarters.

Researchers also point out the damage that is likely to be caused to children who live in cramped spaces. The director of Housing Environments Research Group is quoted in the Observer by saying that children who live in crowded apartments can become “withdrawn and have trouble studying and concentrating.”


What Are Micro-Unit Apartments?

What Is A Micro Unit

Micro-unit apartments are also known as microapartments. Wikipedia defines microapartments as follows: “One-room, self-contained living space, usually purpose built, designed to accommodate a sitting space, sleeping space, bathroom and kitchenette.” The size of these compact apartments can be as small as 47 square feet.

Micro-unit apartments are much smaller than New York regulation’s minimum allowable size for an apartment of 400 square feet. This New York minimum standard was set in 1987. However, developers have found a way around meeting this standard. There have been developers who have received “waivers” excluding them from meeting this requirement. An example of this is Carmel Place, a nine-story building located at, 335 East 27th Street.

Astonishingly, the market rate for the Carmel Place micro-units were list as follows in November 2015, according to the New York Times: “A furnished 355-square-foot apartment on the second floor is listed at $2,910, while an unfurnished 360-square foot unit on the same floor is listed for $2,750- a $160-a-month discount. The lowest-priced unit listed, at $2,540, is a furnished 265-square foot studio on the third floor.” Also, 14 out of the 55 micro-units at Carmel Place were allegedly designated for “affordable housing” (priced at $950 per month).