Although housing affordability has typically been a concern mainly for the lowest income households, housing prices in Arlington have escalated to the point where even those earning moderate incomes struggle to find housing that meets their needs. This is particularly true for single-family homes and townhomes, while condominiums tend to be significantly more affordable.
The lack of many housing options that fall in-between more expensive single-family homes and smaller condominiums or apartments has been referred to as the “Missing Middle” of the housing market.
What is Missing Middle Housing?
The term can be defined in many ways, primarily referring to housing types and designs with the following characteristics*:
- The scale of the structures falls in between single-family homes and mid-rise multifamily housing, and is generally compatible in height and bulk with single-family neighborhoods.
- Includes more than one dwelling unit per lot, such as a single-family home with an accessory dwelling (either internal or external), a condominium, or rental units.
- Smaller unit sizes and modest amenities have the potential to keep prices and rents down naturally, creating a more feasible housing option for middle-income buyers and renters.
- Can be built incrementally on small or modest-size lots without the need for large land consolidation.
* Please note that this is a working definition and may need to adjust as we continue to learn about these housing options.
- For additional information about missing middle housing concepts please see www.missingmiddlehousing.com created by Opticos Design.
- See materials from the 2016 Leckey Forum on Missing Middle Housing, featuring Daniel Parolek of Opticos Design and panels on policy/regulatory and financial considerations.
- Missing Middle Design Galleries allow community members to visualize the potential of missing middle housing.