Members of Houston City Council passed an ordinance Sept. 27 that will allow for construction of what is referred to as "missing middle housing," or housing that typically falls between detached single-family homes and mid-rise complexes.

The overview

The amendments to the city's code of ordinances are meant to incentivize the development of the following housing types in Houston:
  • Second dwelling units
  • Multiunit residential
  • Courtyard-style development
  • Narrow lot development
How we got here

According to a Sept. 27 news release from the city of Houston, the elements of this ordinance are a culmination of three years of work between the Livable Places Action Committee and various stakeholders across Houston.

The Planning Commission presented the amendments to council members at a public hearing April 27, and Livable Places had been garnering additional public feedback on the changes since then, leading up to the Sept. 27 vote.

Originally, the recommended changes, which aim to address the city's sustainability and walkability, had an element known as market-based parking, which was completely removed from the finalized ordinance.

Notable quote

“I applaud all the engagement and collaboration between the neighborhood leaders, the building community, city staff and City Council. Everyone’s hard work ensured that we created a final product that will substantially benefit neighborhoods and the city as a whole,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

Going forward

The changes will go into effect Nov. 27 and will apply to all new construction within the city of Houston. The amendments will not apply to projects already in the permitting process, and they will not override deed restrictions, city officials said.