The de Blasio administration is pursuing two zoning changes that could make the city a denser place without increasing the size of buildings.

The city hopes to allow more so-called micro apartments, or units smaller than 400 square feet, and give developers leeway to carve up buildings into more apartments.

The modificationswhich would only alter a buildings innards, not sizeare buried in a citywide proposal called Zoning for Quality and Affordability, which is currently making its way through the public-review process. That overall proposal includes a number of other changes to the way buildings will be constructed in New York City.

However, these two changes are geared toward tackling a simple housing problem that housing advocates have called on the city to address for years: the dearth of apartments for single households. Nearly 50% of the citys population is estimated to be single people, spanning a wide range of ages and demographics, according to the nonprofit Citizens Housing and Planning Council. Yet only about 7% of the citys housing stock is made up of studios, and about 35% are one-bedrooms, which are units also eyed by couples.

You cant deny the data, said Sarah Watson, deputy director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, which has been advocating for more flexibility in unit sizes for years. This mismatch causes all sorts of economic distortions.

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