"Missing middle" housing types

Of course, policy at the municipal level could go a ways to accelerating the housing recovery, both for people stuck in a housing affordability crisis and for developers.

Next City contributor Amanda Kolson Hurley profiles Daniel Parolek, an architect and urban planner in Berkeley, California, who heads a small firm called Opticos Design. Parolek is champion of a kind of housing--between single-family detached and apartment buildings of nine-units or more--that America's middle-class depends on, but doesn't have enough of in the nation's cities. Hurley writes:

As of 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 63 percent of the nation’s 117 million occupied housing units were detached homes. Another 13 percent were apartments in buildings with 10 or more units. Only about 19 percent of America’s housing stock is composed of all the types in between, from attached single-family (aka townhouse) up to nine-unit multiplex. It hasn’t always been like this — as recently as 1986, 20 percent of all new single-family homes sold were attached, rather than detached; by 2014, that share had dropped to 10 percent.

Read more >