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Morning Poll: Missing Middle Twitter war (can you take it anymore?)

A row of townhouses in Portland, Oregon (courtesy of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability)

Arlington didn’t start the ‘Missing Middle’ fire — localities across the country and around the world have been trying to figure out how to deal with rapidly rising housing costs.

While Arlington’s approval of new zoning regulations allowing small-scale multifamily housing in previously single-family-detached only neighborhoods was not the first time a major jurisdiction made such a move, the underlying debate is still raging in certain pockets of cyberspace.

ARLnow’s comment section aside, one place where the fire is still burning is on Twitter. (The social network was recently renamed “X” in a bid to incorporate additional features, arguably making it the National Landing of tech companies.)

On Twitter, a persistent anonymous account named Arlington Transparency has been posting side-by-side images of older homes set to be redeveloped as Missing Middle housing, next to speculation about how much those new units may cost given the price of existing, similar homes in the area.

In each case, the detached home set for demolition is less expensive than a newer townhouse or other multifamily home.

On the other side of the debate are local housing advocates like Jane Green, who point out that, yes, the resulting Missing Middle homes will likely be more expensive than the tear-down that’s being replaced, but they’re much less expensive than the “McMansions” that would otherwise be going up.

Plus, the more affordable homes being replaced would need “significant work” to be viable for buyers seeking to live there.

Unsurprisingly for Twitter, there’s a counter argument to the counter argument: that $900k+ townhouses benefit “elites” and not buyers in need of greater affordability.

Given the arguments above, who’s got the winning team, in your view? (With apologies to those who feel that this debate has been burning since the world’s been turning.)

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