Are co-living and micro-housing bad ideas whose time has come?
- July 1, 2024: Vol. 11, Number 7

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Are co-living and micro-housing bad ideas whose time has come?

by Lewis Dayton

With an estimated shortage of 3.2 million homes in America, there’s no denying there’s a housing crisis in the United States. Supply and innovative solutions, including niche property types such as micro-housing and co-living, are going to need to be scaled in order to answer the deficit.

The contributing factors to America’s housing crisis are manifold, but a big one is downzoning, the process by which a municipality restricts certain building types, such as apartment buildings, in particular neighborhoods, and allows only single-family properties.

“Downzoning’s first result is sprawl,” says Alex Armlovich, senior housing policy analyst at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. “Then once you run out of sprawl land, that’s when you get into crisis territory.”

Small to midsize cities, such as Tampa, Fla., or Raleigh, N.C., “still have room to sprawl,” says Armlovich. “There will be a sprawl response that helps out there

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