The Missing Middle housing recommendations represent a sensible response to population growth. I am fortunate to be a millennial homeowner; many in my generation are suffering from burdensome student debt and rapidly increasing housing costs. Those who have managed to gain the resources to buy a home face a limited housing inventory, and rental options are equally scarce in areas where people want to live.
I am perplexed by the vociferous, alarmist opposition to these changes. Most opposition comes from well-established homeowners who currently have stable and affordable housing. I understand the concern about neighborhoods changing, but we already see this happening, and that change is towards exclusivity. Anyone who has been looking for housing recently has observed the rise in property values and rents; these issues are tangible and require action.
Some have labeled supporters of the Missing Middle as “pro-growth.” That’s akin to labeling people who plan for climate change as “pro-climate change.” We recognize that our region is growing, and we want to be prepared.
Adding flexibility to our building code addresses housing shortages and affordability. Inaction is not prudent and tends to favor a narrow set of people at the expense of future residents. The character of our neighborhoods will continue to evolve; let’s plan for the coming decades in an inclusive and open-minded way.