Middle Housing

News and Updates

The city submitted the required grant deliverables to the Washington State Department of Commerce June 302023. These documents will serve as the foundational material for developing a middle housing policy and development regulations proposal to process during the 2044 Comprehensive Plan Periodic Update project.

Policy and Development Regulations Gap Analysis and Updated Infill Report

Middle Housing Grant Community Outreach Plan

Public Engagement Outreach Summary

Racially Disparate Impacts Analysis

Staff Report and Potential Policy and Development Regulations Amendments

June 6, 2023 Planning Commission Staff Memo on Middle Housing

Join us at upcoming meetings in conjunction with the City’s Everett 2044 Comprehensive Plan Update, or reach out to request a briefing.

About Middle Housing in Everett

Middle Housing is being considered as one way Everett can help address our long term need for more types of housing, as part of our update to the Comprehensive Plan (see everettwa.gov/2044) which guides how we grow and develop our city over 20 years. 

Middle Housing could be allowed in all residential neighborhoods or just certain areas. Because of its size, it doesn’t necessarily require a large lot. 

The City received a grant from the Washington State for this work, which will end in June 2023. The finished work will lead into a decision making process by the Planning Commission and City Council as part of the Everett 2044 Comprehensive Plan Update, through early 2024.

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What is Middle Housing?

“Missing Middle” housing consists of house-scale buildings containing more than one housing unit that are compatible with lower-scale neighborhoods. "Missing Middle" housing refers to duplexes, triplexes, cottage housing, or small single-family dwellings that offer alternatives to apartment living and offer options for housing that are less dense than mid-rise apartments and denser than detached houses. 

Middle Housing exists in Everett today. Duplexes on corner lots, historic homes remodeled to include additional units or multiple front doors, and townhouses can all be found today in Everett.

Middle Housing is not necessarily affordable housing.  Middle housing refers to the size of the dwelling, not its cost. These homes (duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, cottage housing) are typically less expensive than a detached house, but these middle housing types may or may not fit strictly into the affordable housing definition. Some research shows that they may be affordable to families earning around $71,000 per year, or 60% of the average median income[1].

Middle Housing is built slowly over time. Even with the potential changes, it is unlikely that rapid or dramatic changes in land use would be seen. Growth of duplexes in Everett has been slow since they were allowed on more lots, and the same is true in many other Washington cities. Development of “Missing Middle” housing likely would be slow and incremental over many years. 

Does “Middle housing” look like an apartment building? No. Middle housing does not look like an apartment building. These housing options are house-scale buildings that happen to have more than one household living within. This definition “counters the belief that as you add more units to a building it needs to get bigger and that multi-unit buildings are always bigger than a single-family home.”1 

[1] Daniel Parolek, Missing Middle Housing, www.missingmiddlehousing.com