Across the country, small- to mid-sized housing that’s affordable for middle-income households is in short supply.

AARP-VT, the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council have teamed up to launch The Great Housing Hunt – a photo contest to raise awareness of this “missing middle housing.”

Enter to Win a $50 Gift Card by Snapping a Picture of a Missing Middle House!

What is Missing Middle Housing – and Where Did It Go?

Jacob Hemmerick, Planning and Policy Manager with DHCD, explains Missing Middle Housing

Livable neighborhoods provide a diverse range of housing choices in a walkable context, often including a mix of medium- to high-density housing types such as duplexes, fourplexes, and small multiplexes that are compatible with single-family homes but represent a broad range of units and unit sizes. These types, known as Missing Middle Housing, are critical for providing diverse and affordable housing choices and achieving densities that support walkability, transit and local-serving small businesses.

Such midsized, often moderately priced homes, are referred to as “missing” because very few have been built in the U.S. since the early 1940s. The shortage is largely due to zoning constraints, the shift to car-centric patterns of development, and the challenges of financing multiunit dwellings.  That’s a problem, because the benefits of this largely missing housing type abound.

The Great Housing Hunt wants YOU to uncover examples of this “missing” housing in your community, and share photos for a chance to win one of six $50 gift cards to a local business.

How to Enter the Contest:

Snap a picture of the exterior of a Missing Middle Housing Type (see below for a list of housing types), submit the picture and complete the photo release by clicking below.

  • 10 entries maximum per person. Only one form is needed to submit up to 10 images.
  • Photos should be of the exterior of the house, no interior photos.
  • There is a Bonus Entry if the house was built within the last 10 years.
  • 6 Winners will be awarded a $50 gift card to a local retailer/restaurant in their town.
  • Deadline Extended! All entries must be made by June 30, 2023.

Missing Middle Housing Types to Look For:

  • The Cottage Court
  • Accessory Dwelling Unit, or sometimes called In-Law Suite or Backyard Cottage
  • Duplex
  • Fourplex
  • Multiplex
  • Town House
  • Live / Work Property
  • Courtyard Building

Key Benefits of Missing Middle Housing:

  • Diversity of choice in home sizes at a lower cost than a single-family home.
  • Building size and form is similar to a single-family home.
  • Front porches, door yards, and stoops that support an active street life.
  • Housing types that contribute to walkable and rollable communities.
  • Housing types suitable for incremental and infill development that benefit from being closer to transit and other services.
  • Promote safer environments through informal interactions with neighbors.
  • Have options for renting or ownership.
  • Options for extended family or multigenerational living.

Learn more here!

Thanks for joining the Great Housing Hunt!