Micro-dwellings as housing for young adult professionals

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jessica M. Ocasio Adorno (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Maruga Torres-Antonini

Abstract: Millennials 20-29 years old were disproportionately affected by the housing crisis resulting in 31% of them still living at home; shut out of the rental housing market (Johnson, 2010). They are cash-strapped due to mortgage inaccessibility and lack of affordable housing options. With aspirations to live in “exciting urban settings”, as studies suggest, many of them are amenable to living in smaller spaces presumed to be affordable, such as micro-dwellings. As different types of these surface in the housing market, this assumption remains untested, suggesting the need for further research. Therefore, this study explores micro-dwellings as a potential rental housing option for this population and addresses the following research question: What is the possible fit between the housing aspirations of young adults, and the micro-dwelling housing model? 1. What do young adults value most in housing? 2. Which, among the different micro-dwelling housing types available in the rental market, might be viable housing options for young adults? 3. What is the optimal design of micro-dwellings as housing for young adults? This exploratory study combines data-driven, qualitative, and empirical components for a mixed-methods approach. Observations of existing micro-dwellings were documented to assess their characteristics through site visits and a design charrette. Millennials’ housing aspirations were identified through literature review and examined via an online survey distributed to young adults in a mid-size city in the Southeast. Descriptive statistics analysis of the data found that: 1) Out of 32 responses recorded, 65.6% would prefer to live in an urban location; 2) 60.9% showed a high desire for proximity to neighborhood and community amenities, confirming previous published studies’ claims; 3) 40.7% would live in a micro-dwelling, suggesting that current models partially satisfy the needs of the population; 4) 53.1% would find micro-dwellings more desirable if they offered communal spaces to satisfy their socialization needs. The information gathered from the review of literature, site visits, design charrette, and survey informed a pattern language. This pattern consisted of twelve design guidelines which were then tested through an empirical component. To provide the necessary proof of concept and accept or reject the hypothesis that micro-dwellings are a viable housing option for young adults; a comprehensive design proposal was developed, composed of a micro-dwelling community model and its units.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Housing, Interior architecture, Micro-dwellings, Millennials, Sense of community, Young adults
Small houses $x Design and construction
Architecture, Domestic
Generation Y $x Housing
Young adults $x Housing

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