Learn About Studio Apartments

Studio apartments are a common housing option in the voucher program. This is because studio apartments for rent are often the most low-cost and low-maintenance options available. Studios are typically known as small apartments with a single, open room and private bathroom. This minimal layout allows landlords to offer units at a low monthly rent. In addition, tenants can save even more on monthly utilities due to the low square footage. 

Using your housing assistance on one of the local studios for rent is a great way to maximize your benefits. If you live alone and only require enough space for the essentials, studio living might be right for you. On the other hand, you may need to consider other housing options if you live with family, roommates, or a significant other. Before moving into a studio, it is important to learn more about this type of apartment and how it fits your lifestyle.

What is a studio apartment?

A studio is a type of apartment that often has different names and interpretations, including efficiency, flat, loft and even bachelor apartment. However, a studio is mainly identified by its minimal square footage and open layout. In fact, most studio units fall under 500 square feet. The layout usually consists of a single room with a combined living room, bedroom and kitchen area. Occasionally, options are available that include a separate kitchen or loft bedroom, but every unit must provide a private bathroom.

Often found in low income housing, studio units are generally available at lower costs than other apartments. The absence of a private bedroom and minimal space makes this option difficult to share, but it can provide several benefits to the right tenant. For example, it is possible to save on both rent and utilities because of the small space. In order to fit comfortably, many tenants get creative with the layout. This includes using bookshelves and screens to create separate areas, and transforming furniture. 

How is an efficiency apartment different from a studio?

Though studios for rent are sometimes referred to as efficiencies, these types of apartments are technically not the same. The comparison of efficiency vs studio apartments reveals many similarities between the two, but there are also several differences. Overall, both efficiencies and studios are small apartments with open layouts and low rental costs. The bedroom, living room and kitchen are combined into one room to save space, with a private bathroom attached. Due to the small space, both options are best for individual occupants, but that is where the similarities end. 

Of these different Section 8 apartments, efficiencies tend to be the smaller of the two. These units can run as small as 250 square feet in some cities. In an effort to provide the most “efficient” space, efficiencies often include a kitchenette instead of a full kitchen. Kitchenettes generally consist of a hot plate or mini-stove and a half-size fridge, which conserves both energy and space. When it comes to deciding whether an efficiency or studio is right for you, it often comes down to space. If you need a little more space for your belongings and often cook at home, a studio may still suit you best.

The Advantages of Studio Apartments for Rent

Studio rentals offer a lot of benefits to tenants, especially those who receive housing assistance. To begin with, studios are often less expensive to rent than other types of housing. The smaller space allows landlords to offer units at lower rates. Besides that, the size and layout makes it easy to save on utilities as well. Small, open units are usually cheaper to cool and heat in comparison to other apartments. Studios also require less lighting and have little space for energy-hungry appliances.

In addition, studio apartments are often located in the heart of bustling cities. This provides easy access to public transportation, which means tenants can save on vehicle expenses. Living in the city can also help reduce commute time for tenants who work nearby. As an added bonus, studios can be easier to clean and maintain than larger apartments. Since the space is small, there is less room for extra belongings and clutter. Despite all of these advantages, studios are not right for everyone. Therefore, it is important for potential tenants to consider their needs before moving into a space like this.

Is a studio apartment right for me?

Renting a studio apartment is a great way to maximize your housing benefits and save even more on monthly expenses. However, studio units are not ideal for everyone. The minimal space restricts the amount of belongings and even people that fit comfortably in the room. As a result, studios are not the best choice if you plan to live with your family or a significant other. Unless the unit that is slightly larger than normal, most of these apartments are best suited for individual tenants.

Studio rentals are also not great if you have a lot of furniture or other possessions that you are particularly attached to. Many tenants that move into a studio get rid of half of their belongings in order to fit into the space. Furthermore, studios do not include amenities like washers and dryers inside the unit. Instead, some buildings offer these appliances onsite for communal use. If the complex does not offer communal laundry services, you have to visit a local laundromat or invest in a miniature laundry machine. If these features do not interfere with your lifestyle, studios may offer a valuable housing alternative.

Discover How to Find Studios for Rent

Most studio apartments are offered in highly-populated metropolitan areas. The compact layout makes studios suitable to high-rises and similar apartment buildings, though this depends on the location. With this in mind, it is important to keep aspects like location, amenities and price in mind during your search. 

Section 8 housing lists are often available online for you to browse. The website for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development even offers its own low-rent apartment search feature. In addition, local public housing agencies (PHAs) also offer resources to help you find program-approved apartments. PHA representatives can suggest properties available in the area you are interested in, and help you choose the right one for you. They can also walk you through the inspection process for properties that are not yet approved for housing vouchers.