By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

June 14, 2023

Missing middle town homes

Apply to be one of five pilot communities for free neighborhood design infill design services. 

 Vermonters need better housing options and more affordable homes. Meeting that need requires changing the ways homes are built in Vermont, especially the location and types of new homes. "Missing middle" homes (MMH), like accessory dwelling units, duplexes, and small-scale multi-household buildings were once common but have been increasingly limited by zoning and other regulations. MMH is a solution to providing a diverse mix of housing options for homeowners and renters that creates more walkable and vital neighborhoods.   

The Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development recently launched “Homes for All:  A ‘Design & Do’ Toolkit for Small-scale Home Builders, Investors & Community Leaders” to re-introduce MMH to Vermont by focusing statewide attention on small-scale gentle infill and incremental development as a strategy to address Vermont’s housing and affordability crisis.  

This ‘Design & Do’ Toolkit will produce four resources useful to housing champions across Vermont, including prospective and emerging small-scale developers, planning and regulatory policymakers, municipal and community leaders, and Vermont-based technical advisors for MMH: 

  • Missing Middle Homes Design Guide - A design guide for Missing Middle Homes in a broadly appealing Vermont architectural vernacular. 
  • Vermont Neighborhood Infill Design Case Studies - A series of five case studies showing how MMH building designs can be integrated into existing Vermont neighborhoods and communities using illustrated visualizations.  
  • Builders’ Workbook - A Missing Middle Home builders’ how-to workbook that provides a comprehensive roadmap to real estate development for first-timers. This workbook will provide guidance on a variety of considerations including regulations and zoning, financing, infrastructure, and design, as well as advice on potential partners that can help beginner developers achieve success. 
  • Training Resources - A complete package of training resources for regional and local planning and economic/community development leaders to promote the toolkit and transfer knowledge. The full toolkit, including these Training Resources, will be used for the first time as part of a MMH leadership summit in the spring of 2024. 

You can be a part of Vermont’s Homes For All project by applying to be one of five pilot communities to receive a Neighborhood Infill Design Case Study. 

The case studies will help participant communities visualize missing middle infill and ways you can make it easier to build missing middle housing through predictable and streamlined development processes, and permit-ready designs that does not result in displacement, overcrowding, or loss of existing affordability.  

  To learn more about the Homes for All project or apply to be a pilot community, please visit accd.vermont.gov/homesforall