What happened to Austin’s missing middle housing?

Defenders of the status quo, particularly Kathie Tovo, like to highlight the existence of missing middle housing in older central neighborhoods. They’re right to applaud it, but they’re wrong to suggest that is the current code that has helped create and/or protect it.

Here is a graph that Peter Park, the lead LDC consultant, showed Council the other day.

The figures are pretty damning. Not only does it show how much bigger units have become in the past 30 years, but it shows how little 2-4 unit residences have been built.

This timeframe doesn’t align perfectly with the current code, which was implemented in 1984, but it’s probably safe to assume that the great majority of the pre-91 missing middle housing stock was built before 84. As I’ve written before, many of the duplexes you see throughout town, including the one I lived in most recently, would not be allowed under current rules.

This is just a small sample of what you get every weekday if you subscribe to the Austin Politics Newsletter. Sign up here to get daily breaking news and insider insights on local politics that you won’t get anywhere else in town.

Leave a Reply