How does Missing Middle housing allow for equitable housing development?

April 8, 2024

Single-family zoning, restrictive covenants, financial institutions practices and federal policies have been used as tools for discriminatory policies in some jurisdictions that limited housing choices and worsened racial and economic disparity. The legacy of this history is a housing stock that does not meet the needs of many current and future residents. At the same time, market trends have diminished housing affordability across the region, making it more difficult for many residents to find quality housing that suits their budgets. Missing Middle housing can be part of the solution to these problems by enabling a greater diversity of unit types and sizes across the County, which can give many households access to neighborhoods with good social, educational, and economic opportunities that were previously unattainable to them. These more extensive housing options enable a greater diversity of low- and middle-income households to build wealth through home ownership. Missing Middle housing can counteract exclusionary displacement by providing affordable options and empowering current residents to remain in their neighborhoods despite rising land values. Missing Middle housing can also enable homeowners to redevelop their single-family homes to add a rental unit, which would both increase the County’s housing supply and provide a vital income stream for the homeowner. Together, these benefits result in more quality housing, more neighborhood stability, and more access to opportunities for all County residents.