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Missing Middle Housing

In too many places, walkable, small- to mid-sized housing that's affordable for middle income households can't be found because it no longer exists

Missing Middle Housing Streetscape

Illustration courtesy Opticos Design

For decades, residential development has focused on apartment buildings or detached single-family homes.


Missing Middle Housing ...

Missing Middle Housing - Fourplexes

Click on the image to see a photo gallery of Missing Middle Housing-style homes.

Across the United States, there is a mismatch between the available housing stock and what the market wants and needs. 

Communities and builders are recognizing the need for a shift in the way American homes are designed, regulated and developed. 

So-called Missing Middle Housing is a critical part of the solution.

Such residences are described as missing because very few have been built since the early 1940s due to regulatory constraints, the shift to auto-related patterns of development and financing challenges.

Daniel Parolek, an architect, urban designer and founder of the firm Opticos Design, coined the term "Missing Middle Housing" to describe the kind of small to mid-sized residences that have become hard to find but can greatly expand the availability of housing that's attainable for a variety of middle income households. Parolek is a frequent contributor to AARP Livable Communities.

Follow the links below to learn about the Missing Missing concept and history, as well as the barriers that prevent — and the opportunities that support — the creation of this needed housing type.

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