Citizen Developers

Discover organizations from across Canada & internationally who are contributing towards the gentle density movement and the delivery of homes that people want, need & deserve.

About: The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies strives to improve equitable access to decent, affordable homes in thriving communities.

The organisation conducts rigorous research to advance policy and practice, and brings together diverse stakeholders to spark new ideas for addressing housing challenges. Through teaching and fellowships, they strive to mentor and inspire the next generation of housing leaders.

For more information: Head to the JCHS website.

Logo: Casita Coalition

Discover organizations from across Canada, and the rest of the world, who are contributing towards the gentle density movement and the delivery of homes that people want, need & deserve.

Name: Casita Coalition

About: Casita Coalition stands out as the sole statewide (USA), multi-sector organization uniting key stakeholders to eliminate policy barriers, leaving a significant imprint with neighborhood-scale homes.

Through their Board, Advisory Committee, and Working Groups, they harness the diverse expertise and experience of their members to help simplify the construction of middle homes in all California neighborhoods and disseminate solutions among an expanding community of professionals.

Spanning diverse disciplines and geographic regions, they foster collective learning and swift implementation to fortify the middle housing ecosystem.

For more information: Head to their dedicated website.

Discover organizations from across Canada, and the rest of the world, who are contributing towards the gentle density movement and the delivery of homes that people want, need & deserve.

Name: Strong Towns

About: Strong Towns is a dynamic nonprofit committed to reshaping urban development paradigms. Their vision is clear: make the Strong Towns Approach the default for growth, development, and prosperity in every city, town, and neighborhood.

Their mission is ambitious—replace the post-war Suburban Experiment with financially robust and resilient development. They advocate for cities of all sizes to be safe, livable, and inviting, elevating local governments to collaborative hubs.

For more information: Explore their work on gentle density & missing middle housing, or if you’re interested in broader urban matters, head to their homepage here.

Logo: Assoc. of Bay Area Governments

Discover organizations from across Canada, and the rest of the world, who are contributing towards the gentle density movement and the delivery of homes that people want, need & deserve.

Name: Association of Bay Area Governments

About: The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) defines itself as “part regional planning agency and part local government service provider.” It has a mission to strengthen cooperation and collaboration across local governments in California to build healthier, stronger communities and strives to accomplish their goals by providing planning services and cost-effective ABAG member services to local governments struggling with rising costs and diminishing incomes.

The public is invited to all ABAG meetings and has access to the same tools and research, with a focus on a broad range of policy areas, including the delivery of gentle density & missing middle housing.

For more information: Head to their website.

Logo for Terner Center

Discover organizations from across Canada, and the rest of the world, who are contributing towards the gentle density movement and the delivery of homes that people want, need & deserve.

Name: The Terner Center for Housing Innovation

About: The mission of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley is to formulate bold strategies to house families from all walks of life in vibrant, sustainable, and affordable homes and communities.

Established in 2015, the organisation has quickly become a leading voice in identifying, developing, and advancing innovative public and private sector solutions to the nation’s most intractable housing challenges.

Their work provides timely analysis and data-driven research to support policy and innovation for policymakers, practitioners, and advocates in addressing with urgency the multiple, layered crises of housing affordability, entrenched inequities, and climate change. The Terner Center aims to provide actionable, pragmatic paths that are based in evidence and can bring together a coalition to make change, including in the field of gentle density & missing middle housing.

For more information: Head to their website.

Discover organizations from across Canada, and the rest of the world, who are contributing towards the gentle density movement and the delivery of homes that people want, need & deserve.

Name: Smallworks

About: For the last 16 years, Smallworks has been the heart of laneway housing in North America and we have operated with a simple mission, to empower homeowners to create housing solutions that work for them.

The organisation strongly believe in this form of housing; infill housing provides gentle density, while preserving the neighbourhoods we’ve come to know and love.

Having built nearly 400 homes, they take pride in being able to use experience to accurately project both cost and timeline, ensuring that their homes are built on time, on budget, and with no surprises.

For more information: Head to their dedicated website.

When it comes to managing space, less isn’t always more.

“Kelowna has lots of lots with just one aging home and empty space that could be used differently – like a swimming pool, restaurant or stadium that is far under capacity, these large lots could accommodate more people than they do now.”

As part of its Infill Housing initiatives, the City of Kelowna produced a number of visual resources to capture how existing single family zonings were leading to significant inefficiencies that were undermining the wellbeing of the broader community.

These resources, available to view on their dedicated homepage to infill development, are a simple but effective example of public engagement materials that can help local planners in their efforts to win support for gentle density housing initiatives.

On this useful resource page courtesy of the University of Toronto, the School of Cities, and Toronto Metropolitan University, embark on a journey through the evolution of “Missing Little” housing, a concept stemming from Daniel Parolek’s “Missing Middle.”

Coined by Michael Piper, the “Missing Little” envisions inserting gentle density into existing single-family housing, addressing affordability and fostering walkable urban living.

Key insights:

  • Delve in & explore varied “Missing Little” housing categories throughout Toronto.
  • Gain insights from owners and tenants sharing experiences and challenges, illustrating how optimizing land use can potentially create 200,000 new affordable and gentle density units in Canada’s major cities by 2030.
The famous “Painted Ladies of San Francisco", otherwise known as “Postcard Row" or the “Seven Sisters", are a row of colorful Victorian houses located at 710–720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Square.

Navigate the complex landscape of America’s housing crisis with insights from The Pew Charitable Trusts’ housing policy initiative.

As housing costs soar and millions struggle, Pew sheds light on how regulations and statutes contribute to the shortage and rising prices.

Key insights:

  • Discover how Pew’s research guides policymakers in reimagining housing approaches, creating pathways for more Americans to access affordable and secure housing solutions.
  • Pew analyses outdated financial regulations, focusing on expanding access to small mortgages and ensuring safer non-mortgage financing.
  • From videos, to fact sheets, to policy briefings, this is an excellent resource hub for anyone interested in learning more about policies to address the generational housing crisis we face.

Discover Portland’s vision for equitable growth in its neighborhoods.

Key insights:

By 2035, the city anticipates significant household growth, necessitating a reassessment of housing regulations. Facing a housing shortage amidst rising costs, the proposed changes aim to:

  • Diversify housing options by permitting duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes, while introducing size and scale limitations.
  • Promote community inclusivity and addresses evolving housing demands, emphasizing collaborative efforts for positive change.

Dive into the City of Portland’s housing project report to understand how these strategic changes align with the city’s dynamic future.