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  • Richard Duncan

What is the ‘Missing Middle’ of Housing?

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

We often highlight the need for housing for "Missing Middle" aging households, as long it includes universal home design. Missing middle folks can’t afford life care communities or assisted living, so their next/final home better be one that won’t require much effort or cost to customize. The article, which doesn’t address aging or design issues, lists a few housing types that we are also interested in and one that is usually quite bad. We like infill projects and creating housing density that is higher than the traditional ½ acre single family; we like duplexes or triplexes; we love ADU’s. AS LONG AS THEY ARE UNIVERSALLY DESIGNED. Someone with an interest in life long housing should be cautious about townhome style dwellings. They often have small, narrow footprints, multiple stories, separated key function areas, and little land to create accessible entrances. Yes, UD homes for missing middle households need to be on a lot of agendas.


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The Ronald L. Mace Universal Design Institute is a non-profit organization based in North Carolina dedicated to promoting the concept and practice of accessible and universal design. The Institute's work manifests the belief that all new environments and products, to the greatest extent possible, should and can be usable by everyone regardless of age, ability, or circumstance.

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