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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 Guide

Front and back cover of Discovering and Developing Missing Middle Housing


Click on the image to learn how to order or download this free, photo-filled 32-page guide.

Created by AARP Livable Communities and Opticos Design, 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 Details

Missing Middle Side-by-Side Duplex Homes

Opticos Design

Click on the 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. Get our guide and/or follow the links below to learn more.

COMING IN OCTOBER: Re-Legalizing Middle Housing: A Model Act and Guide to Statewide Legislation, a free, downloadable resource from AARP Government Affairs. 

We'll announce its release via the AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter.

If you don't yet subscribe, you can do so for free at or by texting the word "LIVABLE" to 50707.

Page updated September 2022

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