Launch of a tender for the construction of "micro-apartments" in the Big Apple was done by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where rents are exorbitant and the number of singles is on the rise.
A pilot project slated for construction in Manhattan's Kips Bay section will feature rental apartments ranging from 275 to 300 square feet (26-28 square meters) with kitchens and bathrooms, the mayor's office said in a statement.
Bloomberg explained it was "critical to the city's continued growth, future competitiveness and long-term economic success" to develop "housing that matches how New Yorkers live."
"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 project is slated to respond to the changing demographics of a city where 1.8 million households are composed of one or two people, but there are only one million studios and one-room apartments, the mayor's office said.
Current standards in New York require that most new apartments be at least 400 square feet.
But rental costs in the Big Apple are increasingly expensive.
In Manhattan, a studio costs an average $2,243 per month in May in a building without a concierge, up 7.9 percent from the previous year, and $2,657 in a building with a concierge, up 4.4 percent, according to the Manhattan Rental Market Report.
A one-room apartment can cost about $2,959 without a concierge, up 6.2 percent from 2011, and $3,777 with a concierge, up 6.8 percent in a year.