Watch CBS News

Micro-Units May Be The Future Of Boston Housing

BOSTON (CBS) - Plentiful, affordable housing in Boston, sounds like a pipe dream.

Tonight there's a new plan to make that dream come true.

Twenty-three-year-old Mary DesBois was thinking about moving out of Boston but now has found a way to stay.

"I am actually moving to a micro-unit in East Boston on Saturday. It is just over 500 square feet," DeBois said.

That's right, a micro-unit and they are popping up everywhere.

Students at Suffolk University have assembled a mock micro-unit at the Modern Theater on Washington Street. It is only 350 square feet but may be the future of Boston housing.

Micro-Units May Be Future Of Boston Housing

Richard Taylor oversees the real estate program at Suffolk.

"This works because young professionals who want to stay in Boston only want to sleep in their unit," Taylor said.

On Monday, Mayor Tom Menino told business leaders he wants to create 30,000 new housing units in the next seven years.

And many of them may be smaller than what we are used to.

"It is about creating housing for working folks in our city, for young people who want to come to Boston, also executives," Menino said. "It is a multi- year housing program."

Across the street from where Menino was addressing business leaders, there is a new luxury apartment building taking shape in the Seaport. It will be ready for rent next January.

And in order to keep them affordable, the units will be small, some just 600 square feet, specifically designed to keep that young professional from leaving Boston.

Developer John Drew oversees the project and says the challenge is making the units affordable.

"It is difficult, you have to look at the size of the unit, look for creative ways to build," Drew said.

But that cozy space in the Seaport area could still cost $2,500 a month.

While Mary will pay just $550 for her half in East Boston.

For now, another young person is making Boston home.

Tuesday morning at 7:45 a.m., Suffolk University will host a panel discussion at 525 Washington Street on "micro housing" and re-thinking of urban living.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.