New York City Mayor Looks for Small Apartment Designs

September 6, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1.  unit (n.) [yoo-nit] – a space or room rented in a building; an apartment
Example:  She is renting a unit at an apartment building near her university.

2. submission (n.) [suhb-mish-uhn] – something given to someone who will then judge or check it
Example: The submission of our homework is due tomorrow.

3. studio (adj.) [stoo-dee-oh, styoo-] – describes a unit or living space containing a bathroom and a small kitchen
Example: The employee is looking for a studio apartment near his workplace.

4. vacant (adj.) [vey-kuhnt] – having nothing or no one inside; empty and unused
Example: My visiting cousin used the vacant room in our house.

5. proposal (n.) [pruh-poh-zuhl] – a plan
Example: The managers approved his proposal to improve the store’s customer service.

Read the text below.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg recently asked designers to think of a design for an apartment building in Manhattan that will provide housing for the city’s growing population.

The said housing consists of micro-units, which are units with a size ranging from 275 to 300 square feet.

Design submissions were accepted until September 14. By the end of 2012, winning designs will be chosen.  The first set of micro-units will be developed by the end of 2013.

The planned micro-units will be very helpful to many New Yorkers, as there is a huge lack of small apartments in the city. At present, only around one million studio and one-bedroom units are available in New York. But these are not enough to accommodate around 1.8 million people in the city living by themselves or with one other person.

The units will also be very affordable, with the rent priced at $2,000 per month, which is the average cost of a studio apartment in Manhattan.

For some, however, the size of the units may be too small. The living space is only300 square feet, half the size of the average Manhattan unit. The space may also only be as big as the master bedroom plus bathroom of a small house.

The apartment building with the micro-units will be built on a vacant lot owned by the city’s local government.

The micro-units are part of Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to build 165,000 affordable housing units by 2014.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think building micro-units in cities would also be helpful in your country? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the disadvantages of living in micro-units?

Discussion B
·         Is renting an apartment more practical than buying your own house? Please explain your answer.
·         Why do you think many people nowadays choose to rent a space instead of buying a house?

September 6, 2012