Micro Apartments Minimum Apartment Size NYC

by | Last updated Jun 12, 2020 | Multifamily Residential, Property Development

Micro Apartments are compact dwelling units typically one room in size under 400 square feet. These apartments have one open living and sleeping space with a kitchen and a full bathroom.


Minimum Apartment Size NYC

New York City does not have general requirements for minimum apartment sizes except in certain specific cases although there are requirements for bedrooms and living spaces. A few zoning districts do have a minimum dwelling unit sizes, as well affordable housing apartments have minimum requirements.

Previously NYC had minimum apartment sizes in the zoning code. Buildings developed under Quality Housing Regulations had a minimum apartment size of 400 square feet. This requirement was removed from the zoning code (in 2016) allowing developers to build new buildings or alter buildings with micro units under 400 square feet. For market rate buildings there is no general minimum unit size but the units must fulfill all other code requirements. There are certain instances where there are minimum unit sizes are applicable these are: housing for affordable residences for seniors, affordable housing, and residential developments in certain zoning districts.


Micro Apartment Requirements:

Micro apartments are full apartments just compact ones. The still require a kitchen and a 3 piece bathroom. If the micro unit is on the first floor of a walk up or on any floor in an elevator building it will need to be handicapped accessible complying with ADA standards.

The NYC Building Code requires all apartments or dwelling units to have at least one room with a minimum square footage of 150 square feet. The typical minimum bedroom size is 80 square feet. In the case of a studio or one room apartment the 80 square foot rule would not apply. You would need the room to be 150 square feet. This does not count closets, the bathroom or a kitchen / kitchenette. Therefor the minimum micro unit square footage would be 150 square feet plus the kitchen, bathroom, and closets square footage.


Developments With Minimum Apartment Sizes in NYC


Affordable Housing

Micro Units are not allowed in affordable housing developments. Bellow is a list of the minimum square footage for apartments in affordable housing based on the number of bedrooms.

Studio Apartments: 400 Square Feet Minimum for studios or zero bedroom apartments

One Bedroom Apartments: 575 Square Feet Minimum one bedroom apartments

Two Bedroom Apartments: 775 Square Feet Minimum two bedroom apartments

Three Bedroom Apartments: 950 Square Feet Minimum three bedroom apartments


Affordable Independent Residences For Seniors

Affordable housing for seniors must have a minimum square footage of 325 per unit in the following zoning districts: R3, R4, R5, R6, R7, R8, R9, and R10.


R3, R4, and R5 Zoning

The minimum dwelling unit size will be 300 square feet in the following zoning districts R3 zoning, R4 zoning, and R5 zoning.


Two Family in R3, R4-1, and R4A Zoning

In two family detached, semi detached, and zero lot line buildings in R3, R4A, and R4-1 each house must have one dwelling unit to be at least 925 square feet.


Thank You for reading our blog post on Micro Apartments and Minimum Apartment Sizes in NYC.

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Jorge Fontan

Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.