What is the Missing Middle?

How zoning changes can help increase Raleigh’s housing options.

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Housing Types Zoning Changes and Housing Choices Frequently Asked Questions Metrics

Raleigh aspires to be an inclusive city with a wide variety of housing for people at different stages of life, different income levels, and with different neighborhood preferences. Raleigh is a great city and by growing together, we can become even greater. If you’re following the growth of the city, then you’ve likely heard the phrase “missing middle housing” as part of the conversation.

The term “missing middle” refers to housing types between detached single-family homes and large apartment buildings. This includes duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, and small apartments. Prior to the summer of 2021, these housing types were prohibited in many of Raleigh’s neighborhoods.

Text changes (TC) are amendments to Raleigh’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The UDO contains all the development and zoning rules for the city. Collectively, TC-5-20 and TC-20-21 did the following:

  • Allow more housing options in residential neighborhoods;
  • Increase housing supply near planned transit areas;
  • Increase housing supply for existing and future residents;
  • Allow for smaller homes on smaller lots; and,
  • Allow for more residences near high-frequency transit (Bus Rapid Transit/BRT).

Learn more about these changes as well as future engagement opportunities below.

Housing Types

Scroll through the slideshow to view missing middle housing examples.

Small apartment building with 2-3 units.



Zoning Changes and Housing Choices

Missing middle housing is important because it’s more accessible and often more affordable than single-family housing. Learn more Raleigh's zoning history and how zoning changes impact your housing choices in Raleigh.

Frequently Asked Questions

We've set up an entire web page dedicated to all the questions we hear about the missing middle. 


If you would like to take a deeper dive into the numbers, head over to the missing middle metrics webpage.



Keegan McDonald
Planning Supervisor

Email Keegan

Planning and Development
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