For the past several decades, the vast majority of homes built in the United States fit one of two categories: big buildings with lots of apartments or single-family houses with a yard. But as cities and suburbs around the country facesoaring rents and home prices, they are looking to a third type of housing: “missing middle.”
Missing middle doesn’t refer to the middle class. Rather, it’s about a certain kind of housing — including townhouses, duplexes and small garden apartments — that has been illegal or difficult to build in many neighborhoods because of zoning laws.
As the case of Arlington, Va., shows, efforts to add this type ofhousing are drawing a lot of buzz as well as plenty of pushback. In this comic, we explore what happened in this D.C. suburb as it looked to boost its missing middle housing stock.
Editing by Hannah Good and Jennifer Barrios. Design editing by Christine Ashack and Christian Font. Copy editing by Jordan Melendrez.