Picture the suburbs. What do you see? Cul-de-sacs? Big homes with attached garages amid expansive, carefully manicured lawns?
In a lot of cases, that’s not far off the mark. But it’s also not the whole story: Increasingly, suburbs around the country are making room for a different kind of development: multi-family homes: Apartments, duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes.
In 2017, communities in the Twin Cities metro permitted more than 15,200 new housing units, an increase over 2016 and a high not seen since 2005, according to building permit survey data from the Metropolitan Council collected since the 1970s. But it's not just home construction generally that's been on the rise. Multi-family home construction as a share of residential construction is up. In 2017, multi-family units made up more than half of new residential units permitted — a number that’s been on a general upward trajectory in recent years.