What is Missing Middle Housing?
Missing Middle Housing are residential structures such as bungalows, duplexes, triplexes, etc. — dwellings that have have become quite uncommon for developers over the last 70 years. The Montgomery County Planning Department recently presented their Missing Middle Housing Study to the Planning Board on Sept 20, 2018, a study addressing the absence of MMH structures within Montgomery County and their case to revive them within the county’s current housing needs.
The study also recognizes the challenges that should arise if missing middle housing were to be developed within the county’s current housing state but also presents the positive potential it would have for the county’s increasing population, as well as the opportunities it would have for those residents who seek more affordable housing options.
“I wish we had zoning that would encourage highest and best use for housing; we can’t fix our workforce housing shortage without zoning changes,” says Liz Brent. “Who are we to determine when development stops? Are we really prepared to say to the people who fight our fires, provide our emergency services, work in our restaurants, and teach our children that we don’t care how far they have to travel to get to their jobs?”
From the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Press Release:
“It’s clear from the study that, currently, the smaller developers who could create most of the Missing Middle housing types are finding it difficult to do that here,” says Paul Mortensen, a senior urban designer in the Planning Director’s office, who co-authored the report. “The study indicates ways we can streamline the development process for these housing types because the needs of the county are changing and there is a huge market demand for this type of adaptable housing.”