Missing Middle Manual for Neighborhood Housing Services

Giving 2-4 Flat Homeowners Information on Basement ADU Conversion Costs, Code Regs, & Construction Issues

I am incredible excited to announce that I will be developing a ‘missing middle’ manual for Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) this spring and summer. As part of the larger policy push surrounding accessory dwelling units (ADUs), NHS is looking to inform 2-4 flat homeowners of practical requirements in the development of basement flats (also known as junior ADUs). Given that 2-4 flats compose a third of Chicago’s residential stock, there’s great potential to provide affordable units across the city. But, because Chicago is built on a swamp, it is’ vital that owners going into construction (and loan applications) are prepared, with pragmatic information on conversions, from baseline code requirements to waterproofing, utility installation, zoning appeals, and larger egress/site standards. I look forward to working with NHS, especially to make their construction managers’ wisdom accessible and to enable grounded approaches to affordable housing. This project is in pre-launch stage, so much more information (and illustrations) will be posted in the months to come.


Meg Studer developed the provisional illustrations above and graphic wireframes. Sarah Brune will be managing the project for Neighborhood Housing Services. Funding for the work is coming from federal grants and the City of Chicago.


Scoping Out Affordable Housing Tactics

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