"Now wait another second, you’re saying, $2500 to $3000 for a studio
in Kips Bay is not affordable! That’s only the market rate (which is
actually about the median Manhattan rent for a studio). The rents for
the 22 affordable housing units are set at different rates based on
income and need. Prospective tenants apply through a lottery and might
pay anywhere from $1000 to $1500. 60,000 people applied.
So yeah, no one can deny that the demand isn’t there for these types
of units. But the bigger question is if these units are actually the right kind of new housing for cities to be building.
If we’re talking big picture here, the building as a whole is far more
responsible than tacking yet another megadevelopment on the edge of
sprawl, forcing all its residents to drive. But the worry is that these
tiny spaces will become the new slums of the city, mostly occupied by
lower-income residents who don’t have much of a choice about where to
live, further stratifying inequality problems. In cities like Los
Angeles, for example, micro-units are still mostly being used as
transitional housing for formerly homeless individuals."
The demand is there. It fills a niche in housing. But if such housing is isolated to certain sectors, then those sectors will probably become undesirable addresses after a time.