'Missing Middle' Housing and the Expected Millennial Exodus

The Washington Post examines "missing middle" housing as a solution for retaining millennials in cities and interior suburbs. There is still some question, however, about whether millennials are actually leaving urban areas.
December 12, 2017, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Tricia Danie

"Cities and close-in suburbs looking to the future see a troubling trend: The millennials who rejuvenated their downtowns over the past decade are growing older and beginning to leave," writes Katharine Shaver.

The response of some cities to this perceived threat, according to Shaver, are "the kinds of homes that might be more familiar to millennials’ great-grandparents: duplexes, triplexes, bungalows, rowhouses with multiple units, and small buildings with four to six apartments or condos."

The article focuses specifically on the market case study provided by Washington, D.C., quoting Yolanda Cole, chair of the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute, and Art Rodgers, senior housing planner for the D.C. Office of Planning, among others. The article also touches on the experience of Nashville and Vancouver, British Columbia in experimenting with the missing middle.

As to whether millennials are actually fleeing more urban areas as the article assumes, "Fred Selden, planning director for Fairfax County in the Northern Virginia suburbs, said he hasn’t seen an exodus of millennials from the county’s more urban areas. But he senses the uncertainty in his profession."

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Published on Saturday, December 9, 2017 in The Washington Post
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