City of Asheville Approves Missing Middle Housing Study Contract

Local examples of Missing Middle Housing including an accessory dwelling unit (left), small apartment house (center), and townhomes (right)

Asheville, North Carolina – On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, the City of Asheville’s City Council approved a $115,000 contract to Opticos Design, Inc., and their subcontractor Cascadia Partners, for a Missing Middle Housing study. Missing Middle Housing refers to housing types, such as duplexes, triplexes, quadruplexes, and townhomes that are largely missing from the housing supply in cities across the nation.

The study will examine Asheville’s zoning standards, and housing-related policy documents to provide an analysis of any barriers or challenges that impact housing diversity and supply. Included in the study is a displacement risk analysis that will assess the impact of any proposed regulatory or policy amendments. The study also includes a public engagement component with the facilitation of community input through a public presentation, stakeholder interviews, and a Missing Middle Housing Advisory Working Group composed of a diverse range of community members. 

“The Missing Middle Housing study will examine housing supply gaps and opportunities to complement the city’s broader housing policy toolbox. It will explore possible policy adjustments that will lead to regulatory changes for more housing diversity and opportunity in Asheville. The study will provide the city with the critical information necessary to make informed regulatory decisions,” said Candra Teshome, Urban Planner II with the City of Asheville’s Planning and Urban Design Department.

The City will announce a virtual kick-off meeting and public presentation as work begins. This meeting will be followed by a presentation of an analysis of findings, including any barriers. The city expects ongoing public engagement and stakeholder meetings throughout the process.