Last year’s Code Diagnosis identified “lack of household affordability and choice” as one of the top 10 land development code issues for consideration. Creating regulations that encourage and support the “missing middle” product types (e.g., duplexes, triplexes, townhomes, live-work space, etc.) could serve some useful purposes, including increasing housing supply (and perhaps providing some affordability!), serving a diversity of household types, creating a more walkable urban environment, and forming a useful transition between single-family homes and more intensive uses like multifamily and commercial.
Last month, HousingWorks and the Urban Land Institute Austin hosted a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) to explore strategies to develop, finance, and market housing that is affordable to middle income families. Rather than focusing strictly on the housing product type (e.g., duplexes, triplexes, etc.), we challenged our panelists to think about “missing middle” as housing that actual serves middle income households and families.
The final report and panelists’ recommendations will be released later this month. ULI Austin will host a breakfast discussion featuring a panel discussion of the report recommendations on May 27, 2015 at 7:30 am. Registration details and additional information can be found here.
In the meantime, AIA Austin Design Voice has teamed up with Imagine Austin to host a walking tour of the “missing middle” in Austin. Join HousingWorks this Saturday (May 16th) from 1 – 3 pm. We’ll start at Ridgetop Elementary Auditorium (5005 Caswell) and then head out for a self-guided walking tour of the “missing middle” in the North Loop Neighborhood. Details and registration here.