NYC's micro-apartment movement

With space at a premium, the so-called tiny house movement is picking up steam. Using creativity and imagination, New York City residents are finding a way to do more with a lot less.

You might say New York City apartment renters Maxwell Ryan and Mary Helen Rowell share an appreciation of small spaces. Mary Helen lives in a 90-square-foot apartment. Before you complain about your lack of closet space, Mary Helen lives without one.

Maxwell used to live in a 250-square foot apartment. Maxwell and Mary Helen are part of a growing movement of apartment dwellers and homeowners who deliberately desire to live in less.

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, developers are working on what could be the future of New York City rental apartments known as micro apartments. Under construction, the 55 units will be New York City's first micro apartment complex. Each unit will be about 260 to 360 square feet. New York City suspended zoning codes to pave the way for this pilot project. The finished units will be assembled on a steel beam foundation in Kips Bay in Manhattan.

Gregory Paul Johnson is the president of the Small House Society, a group that connects would-be homeowners with the builders of small homes, many of them portable. He says the micro movement is growing -- not just for affordability in high-rent cities -- but because of environmental and philosophical reasons.

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