Could You Live In A 300-Square-Foot Apartment?

Could You Live In A 300-Square-Foot Apartment?

Seeking to develop quality affordable housing for young professionals, Mayor Michael Bloomberg launches the adAPT NYC Competition, a project to develop "micro-units" for NYC.

Alice Chan
  • 10 july 2012

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the launch of the adAPT NYC Competition, a pilot program to develop a new housing model for the City’s growing small-household population. Currently, there are 1.8 million one-and two-person households in NYC, but only one million studios and one-bedrooms- a deficit that has led to rampant illegal subdivided apartments. This new project seeks to create an alternative choice within New York City’s housing market to accommodate the city’s changing demographics.

Mayor Bloomberg said of the initiative:

Developing housing that matches how New Yorkers live today is critical to the City’s continued growth, future competitiveness and long-term economic success. People from all over the world want to live in New York City, and we must develop a new, scalable housing model that is safe, affordable and innovative to meet their needs.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is leading the design, construction, and operation of the initiative, and a city-owned building in the Kips Bay neighborhood (335 East 27th St) will be used to test the micro-unit rental building concept. The building will feature 80 units, 75 percent of which will be micro-units, measuring only 275 to 300 square feet. These efficient, self-contained units will include kitchens and bathrooms.

NYC Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri speaks to the importance of the competition:

As New York City continues to grow and evolve, our housing stock must do the same. This design competition is a unique opportunity to re-define the way New Yorkers live by creating a new type of housing model that is safe, efficient and affordable. The challenge will be to follow our strict safety standards while providing an innovative design that meets the public’s needs.

Currently, all new apartments built in NYC must be 400 square feet or larger, but if successful in providing affordable housing, the pilot program could inform potential regulatory changes to allow for the building of additional micro-unit apartments around the five boroughs of NYC. The adAPT NYC initiative is as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance the creation or preservation of 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014.

But even with the efficient size, the units will still boast a NYC-sized pricetag of $2,000.


Image credits via: Gothamist

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