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Policy for the Architect Advocate: Missing Middle Housing

Braga AHO handdrawn copy

Illustration courtesy of Patrick Braga

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    Free and open to the public

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Missing Middle Housing, a term coined by Daniel Parolek of Opticos Design, is used to describe a range of multi-family or clustered housing. These building types, including townhouses and triple-deckers, were built largely prior to the 1940’s and have since been outlawed through zoning regulations and other policies that favor the large-lot single family homes that proliferate throughout suburban and some urban communities. Missing middle housing is also often associated with more affordable, walkable and healthy communities.

In this session you’ll hear about how missing middle housing is being built now in Austin, Texas and more locally how the regulatory framework is shifting to encourage more middle-scale housing in historically single-family neighborhoods. Somerville recently overhauled its entire zoning and switched to a form based code that allows for a gradation of height and multiple building types in every neighborhood. And in Cambridge there is an advocate-led petition to allow for multi-family housing throughout the city being considered by the City Council right now.

Join us to discuss the tools by which we can collectively help shift policies and designs to create more equitable and diverse communities.

Kathleen Onufer
Senior Planner
Goody Clancy

Nhat Ho
Vice President, Public Sector

George Proakis
Executive Director
Somerville Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development

Bill Boehm AIA
Founding Principal
Boehm Architecture