In New York City, there are 1.8 million households comprising of one and two persons, but there are only 1 million studio and one-bedroom apartments available, which has led Mayor Michael Bloomberg to launch the adAPT NYC Competition.

The adAPT NYC Competition is an attempt to decrease the number of apartments in the city that have been illegally sub-divided and give the city a new small housing model that will solve its current deficit. The project's goal is to ensure NYC apartment dwellers have a place to live that is safe and affordable while at the same time efficiently use the city's limited space.

Behind the design and building of the new housing is the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Once the design of the space has been chosen, it will be applied to a city-owned apartment building that contains 80 units. Seventy percent of these units will be micro-units (smaller-than-regulation apartments) that will include bathrooms and kitchens but will still cost around $2,000 per unit.