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What's All the Buzz about Missing Middle Housing?
Missing Middle Housing has become a planning buzzword and controversial topic over the last several decades. The general accepted definition of Missing Middle Housing is house-scale buildings with multiple units in walkable neighborhoods.
This includes building types, such as duplexes, fourplexes, cottage courts, and courtyard buildings, that can provide diverse housing options and support locally-serving retail and public transportation options. They are called “Missing” because they have typically been illegal to build since the mid-1940s and “Middle” because they sit in the middle of a spectrum between detached single-family homes and mid-rise to high-rise apartment buildings. The Missing Middle housing types are shown In the diagram below, the Missing Middle types are shown in yellow, providing many housing options in between the single-family homes and higher intensity
Our speakers, Lisa Govoni from Montgomery County Planning and Matthew Ladd from Arlington County Planning will present information about their respective works on Missing Middle Housing. Discussions on this subject have brought heated responses of people both for and against the idea.
Both Montgomery and Arlington Counties have complicated and politically sensitive housing policy issues related to Missing Middle Housing. Both Lisa and Matt are veterans at the controversial nature of their work and provide insight on the future of this movement.
Lisa Govoni has worked on housing issues in Montgomery County for almost a decade. Prior to joining MNCPPC, she worked as a planner for the Delaware State Housing Authority and the Calvert County, MD Department of Planning. She attended the University of Maryland where she completed a BA degree, an MCP in Planning, and an MGIS focusing on geographic information science and cartography.
Matt Ladd has been a Planner in Northern Virginia for over 16 years, first in Fairfax County and then in Arlington County for the last nine years. He earned a Masters in Urban Planning from Harvard University and a BS from Virginia Commonwealth University. At Harvard he was a Presidential Scholar and a Research Assistant at the Joint Center for Housing Studies.