According to Sarah Lewontin, executive director of Bellwether, a not-for-profit organization committed to providing affordable housing solutions in Seattle, micro-apartments started as a way to address the gap between what people earn and the cost of living. Unlike low-income housing, however, micro-apartments aren’t subject to income restrictions.
“Many feel that our answer to affordability problems is micro-apartments,” she says. “They can be part of the solution, but for people to consider them the solution is disingenuous and misleading.”
Compared with Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, where the median rent is $2,429, Miller is paying significantly less. But when looking at Seattle as a whole, neighborhoods such as Greenwood are renting much larger units for the same price, and they’re just a 30-minute bus ride from downtown.
“When people are writing that rent check every month, they’re looking at the pure dollar amount,” Lewontin says, “not the price per square foot.”