Partner Simon Ha Talks Microunits and LA’s Housing Crisis with Bisnow

According to the California Housing Partnership, the state of CA requires in excess of 1.4 million rental units to address the lack of affordable housing in the state. Supply of housing is unable to meet demand of residents on the state level, as well as on the city level. Los Angeles County officials are currently working to accelerate microunit development to address the housing and affordability crises in the city.

Steinberg Hart is working with Housing Diversity Corp., a Seattle-based development company, who sees microunits as one of the solutions in providing affordable rental spaces to California and Los Angeles residents. Housing Diversity Corp. delivered plans to the city of Los Angeles this year. The project proposes to construct an eight-story building with 151 individual units for southern Los Angeles residents. As the site spans 9,000 SF, each unit is expected to have an average size of 325 SF.

Heading the design of the project is architectural firm Steinberg Hart. Simon Ha, Managing Partner of Steinberg Hart’s LA office, is overseeing the South LA project. He believes microunits provide various advantages to occupants, while also addressing the current housing crisis in the city. According to Ha, microunits are “like a mini-Cooper. . . It’ll have all the bells and whistles but it’s compact. There [are] a lot of advantages with a smaller unit.” Aware of the constraints microunits’ size may place on installing amenities, Ha has paid special attention to providing building residents with these amenities in common areas throughout the project.

Located at 1317 South Grand Ave., the development project is expected to have an average monthly expense of $1,600. The current average rent for apartments in Los Angeles county is $2,546 (up 3.6% from last year).

Read more: Can Microunits Help Solve LA’s Housing Crisis? One Developer Is Betting On It