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AARP North Dakota is inviting all interested to take part in a missing middle design competition starting in July 2024. The competition asks participants to imagine and design Duplex, Triplex or Cluster Housing suitable for aging-in-place.


The overall goal of the New Housing on the Block competition is to improve housing options for older adults in Fargo. The competition can help increase the supply of suitable aging-in-place housing by creating more affordable and convenient living options for seniors. These options should promote health and greater autonomy compared to many of the traditional housing options currently available to Fargo's aging adults, allowing them to age in place and remain in their communities.

Why this competition and why now?

Fargo, like many cities, faces a growing population of aging adults burdened by their current homes, with few options for more to suitable housing. Many of Fargo’s older adults remain in homes that are too large, too demanding to maintain, or are simply unsafe for aging. By addressing the housing gap with innovative and usable designs, we can empower older adults to live safely and independently for years longer.

Missing Middle Housing (MMH) is a range of small multi-unit housing types that are similar in scale to a single-family house and are often found in walkable areas. This competition focuses on duplexes, triplexes and cottage courts. 


"MMH types are "middle" in form and scale between that of small single-family houses and larger apartment buildings, enabling them to blend into existing residential neighborhoods. With smaller units, MMH can provide housing at price points attainable to many middle-income households." (source: Opticos Design)

Missing Middle Homes (MMH) offer a more affordable and manageable solution: duplexes, triplexes, and smaller dwellings. Designed with universal and age-friendly features, MMH promote independent living and delays the need for moves to expensive care settings.

This competition has three key objectives.

  1. Generate Designs: Create a handful of attractive, buildable MMH plans with essential universal and age-friendly design elements.

  2. Raise Awareness: Public outreach and competition promotion will highlight how universal and age-friendly MMH address housing challenges faced by older adults, particularly those with modest finances or past housing inequities. Concurrent educational efforts will teach key stakeholders the specifics of this competition's universal and age-friendly design criteria.

  3. Policy Change: Add to efforts to modify Fargo’s development ordinances, making it easier to create middle housing.


AARP North Dakota, with assistance from RL Mace Universal Institute, have come together to present a competition to address these challenges head on.


Competition Registration Now Open Through August 31, 2024

(no fee to register)

Download the Competition Guide and Register!


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