Does size matter?

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When it comes to size, everyone has a preference. From the height of a potential suitor to our waistlines – we all have an opinion on it. This week’s debate is about the dimension of our homes and whether size really does matter.

A report from The Adam Smith Institute is urging the Greater London Authority (GLA) to reconsider its rules on minimum floor space in a bid to expand housing opportunities for young Londoners. Could these micro-homes be the answer to our housing crisis, or are they just rabbit hutches for unwilling occupants?

According to the think tank, homes with less than 37 sq m of floor space should be considered an alternative option for people wanting to get on the housing ladder. With the average size of homes at 90 sq m, however, not everyone’s on board with the idea.

After a quick scroll on Twitter, it’s difficult to find people who are in favour of the proposals. Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, James Murray certainly isn’t. Neither is property commentator, Henry Pryor.

Sceptics aside, it is encouraging to see people coming forward with potential solutions to an age-old problem. Whether they work or not, they’re sparking meaningful conservations about living standards, design and housing reform.

What the headlines are failing to disclose though, is that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution (if you can excuse the pun), but just one of the options on the table. While some choose to upsize to the suburbs, others downsize to the city. It’s about choice. If designed well, these unique spaces can make truly beautiful homes and are already embraced in countries such as Japan where they’re mass-produced.

We’re faced by challenges such as a growing population we don’t know how to house, spending an obscene proportion of our income on rent and deposits, as well as unfavourable living standards for many. So, what we need to agree on is the need for better housing across the board – in whatever shape or form – and a government that is united in its commitment to delivering that for everyone.