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Whitefish initiates affordable housing design competition

Whitefish initiates affordable housing design competition

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Affordable Housing Design

Great news for designers and architects nationwide! The Whitefish community is all set to reassess its approach to affordable housing by initiating a competition known as the Missing Middle Housing Visual Design.

Funded by a 2024 AARP Community Challenge grant, the competition hopes to uncover innovative housing solutions that cater to different age groups, incomes, and household sizes. This endeavor could help transform the future of housing in this community and beyond.

The AARP Community Challenge grant, which facilitates this competition, shows deep commitment to building livable, age-friendly communities for all of Whitefish’s residents. The organization behind the competition, Shelter WF, aims to foster a wide discussion and revisit traditional methods of developing affordable housing.

The competition focuses on the concept of Missing Middle Housing. Essentially, this refers to multifamily housing structures that are aligned with the size of single-family residences. The emphasis lies heavily on accessible, affordable, and community-centric accommodations, striving to bridge the gap between low-density residential areas and high-density apartment buildings.

Entrants can opt for two categories: the Solo Plot Design or the Neighborhood Block Design.

Whitefish’s design competition for affordable housing

Both of these need to adhere to the zoning laws for the WR-2 or WB-2 sectors. These areas in Whitefish have the potential for additional housing close to the city center.

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The Neighborhood Block Design section offers competitors the chance to visualize an entire neighborhood block, disregarding current zoning laws. This opens up a platform for forward-thinking solutions and encourages designers to address community needs like efficient transport systems and environmentally-friendly buildings.

Alongside advocating for Missing Middle Housing options, this competition intends to inspire innovative urban design ideas and encourage collaboration. It offers a chance to demonstrate cutting-edge housing solutions that are adaptable and energy-efficient, ultimately aiming to create a resilient, livable environment for future generations in Whitefish.

Winning designs will receive monetary rewards, exposure to public evaluation, and feature at community events. The contest’s submission deadline is September 20. More information can be found at

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