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Brief

A design competition for innovative and accessible duplex designs, meant to serve as models for Missing Middle housing that can provide affordability while serving the increasing number of residents over the age of 50.

 

Like many communities, the Omaha metro area is experiencing an affordable housing crisis. And due to rapid increases in housing prices, rents, and property taxes, many older residents are stuck in homes that were not designed to accommodate aging in place. More diverse housing options designed with the needs of all residents in mind will be necessary to create both affordability and accessibility.

 

Because duplexes are allowed in a wide range of residential zones, can be built under residential code standards, and have the same permit submission requirements as single-family homes, duplexes are an ideal starting point for accelerating the production of Missing Middle housing in the Omaha metro. Similar to ADU’s, duplexes also have inherent features that lend themselves to aging in place. For example, a duplex can provide an older resident with the ability to live adjacent to an adult child or caretaker, or provide a supplemental source of income that makes it easier to remain in a neighborhood as property values rise. 

 

Omaha by Design's duplex competition will build on the success of its Affordable by Design program, which focuses on producing freely available designs for innovative housing. The first iteration of Affordable by Design resulted in the Affordable by Design Playbook, a book of plans for innovative single-family homes which were specifically designed to accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities through universal design. A second Playbook iteration featuring Missing Middle housing designs is currently in the works. The duplex competition will add an important piece to this growing body of local design knowledge.  The competition will also build on the success of AARP Nebraska’s ADU for U competition, a similar competition centered on Accessory Dwelling Units that was completed in 2023.  

 

One of the challenges surrounding duplexes, as well as other Missing Middle housing types, is negative community perception. There are many reasons for this perception, but design quality is a key driver. This competition can play a key role in shining a spotlight on how duplexes can be designed as high-quality additions to existing neighborhoods, providing choice and affordability while maintaining the character of Omaha’s neighborhoods.

Competition Schedule

 

What

Registration Opens

Virtual Information Session for Applicants

Webinar: A Deep Dive into Age-Friendly Design

Registration Closes

Submission Portal Opens

Submission Deadline

Winners Announced

When

July 19

August 8

August 15

September 16

September 16

October 18

November 8

Awards

 

The winners of the design competition will be provided a cash  award.

Once selected, the winning entries will be showcased at a community open house during the month of November. Winning designs will also be highlighted on betterlivingdesign.org, as well as other digital media outlets. 

 

Download the Competition Guide and Register!

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