Micro-apartments : housing affordability solution or the erosion of amenity standards?

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Copyright: Clinton, Emma Lucy
This thesis is an investigation into the development and occupancy of micro-apartments in Sydney, Australia. Micro-apartments are small, single-room, self-contained apartments sized between 24.5m2 and 28m2, which notionally compromise on total floor space in exchange for greater locational amenity and affordability. In Sydney, interest in micro-apartments amongst the development industry, politicians and media has increased recently in response to societal concerns regarding housing affordability. This interest has been informed by international micro-apartment examples and has focused on the need to adjust prevailing amenity standards to deliver smaller apartments, without acknowledging the existence of the current micro-apartment policy framework. At present, micro-apartments can be developed across New South Wales in a highly constrained development model facilitated by State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009. These micro-apartments are exempt from the statewide residential amenity standards prescribed by the Apartment Design Guide. While micro-apartments are being built in Sydney, there is a notable absence of empirical research as to whether these dwellings provide genuinely affordable and suitable housing outcomes, making research on the topic both timely and necessary. Drawing on the perspectives of micro-apartments occupants and industry stakeholders, the research has found that the existing micro-apartments model increases the supply of small apartments in Sydney. The dwellings being produced have, however, compromised functionality and amenity due to their size, and do not provide clear affordability benefits to occupants.
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Clinton, Emma Lucy
Randolph, Bill
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Masters Thesis
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