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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

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.

The Introductory Guide

Cover of Discovering and Developing Missing Middle Housing

AARP Livable Communities

Click on the image to learn how to order or download this free, photo-filled 36-page gpublication.

Created by AARP Livable Communities and Opticos Design (the firm that popularized the term "Missing Middle Housing"), Discovering and Developing Missing Middle Housing provides local leaders, building and planning professionals, and involved community members with information about what Missing Middle Housing is, where it still exists, and why it’s time for communities nationwide to return this versatile residence type to America’s housing portfolio.

The Legislative Guide

Cover of Re-Legalizing Middle Housing

AARP Government Affairs

Click on the image to learn how to download this free, 50-page policy guide.

Created by AARP Government Affairs and ECONorthwestRe-Legalizing Middle Housing: A Model Act and Guide to Statewide Legislation provides options for state and local governments to create and enact effective, customized Middle Housing legislation that works. This publication can empower volunteer leaders, interested residents, planners and government officials to help remove the “missing” from of “Missing Middle Housing." 

The Photo Gallery — and More!

Missing Middle Side-by-Side Duplex Homes

Photographs from Opticos Design

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

Missing Middle Housing is, ideally:

  • located within a walkable area, close to amenities
  • never exceeds the scale of a house (height, width and depth)
  • mixes well with other building types
  • features small but well-designed residences
  • can be for sale or rent
  • and creates a sense of community within a building and in the neighborhood

Page updated March 2023

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