AARP Announces Resource on ‘Discovering and Developing Missing Middle Housing’

Sep 21, 2022

Created by AARP Livable Communities and Opticos Design, Discovering and Developing Missing Middle Housing provides age- and dementia friendly communities, 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.

Middle housing, according to AARP, refers to midsized, often moderately priced homes are referred to as missing because very few have been built in the U.S. since the early 1940s. The shortage is largely due to zoning constraints, the shift to car-centric patterns of development, and the challenges of financing multiunit dwellings.

That’s a problem, because the benefits of this largely missing housing type abound:

  • Missing Middle homes provide the size and affordability options that people of all ages —  including older adults — very much need but often can’t find.
  • Since Missing Middle dwellings are house-scale, the design and size of the buildings fit comfortably among detached single-family houses.
  • When a classic but too-large historic home is converted into a multiunit Missing Middle-style residence, the housing type can help preserve existing houses as well as an area’s look and feel.
  • The housing type can enable family members to live with or near one another while having their own space or residence.

More reports, research and resources on housing from MHAC is available here.