Parking Requirement Removal Makes Housing More Affordable

Hot on the heels of Cincinnati’s move to begin eliminating parking requirements in the urban core, UCLA has released a study that highlights how excess parking from parking requirements contribute to the increase in rent or mortgage payment for developments that may not need as much parking as a city’s code requires. The study highlights how parking spots, costing between $30,000 to $50,000 a space can raise rents by as much as $140 a month. More from Streetsblog:

Minimum parking requirements result in more space being dedicated to parking than is really needed; in a world of height limits, floor-area ratios, and endless other development regulations this necessarily leaves less space for actual housing. What really struck me, though, was the straightforward assertion that housing marketed toward non-drivers sells for less than housing with parking spaces. It’s powerful, but it’s also obvious: parking costs money to build, so of course buildings with less parking are cheaper. But to have research-driven data behind it adds force to the conclusion.

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  • Nice tie-in to the quote from 3CDC in the previous article. Regardless of whether 200 or 300 spaces is appropriate for Mercer Commons, any amount of structured spaces under construction by the nonprofit will be passed on through increase costs at the tenant spaces.

  • Cassie

    Not a new study — from 2010 and never published. Doesn’t really support the claims being made, except to the limited/obvious extent that unbundling parking from housing decreases housing costs for people who don’t want parking. In this study that effect seems magnified by the fact that the units without parking (in any give project) were the cheapest/smallest units to begin with. At any rate, you can unbundle without eliminating minimums. And low minimums (e.g. 1 space per 2-4 units) necessitate unbundling.

    Cincy should look at Portland, which is in the process of reinstituting minimums for multifamily projects near transit. Lack of on-site parking + proximity to transit didn’t decrease car ownership there — it just left the streets in neighborhood commercial areas overwhelmed by long-term residential parkers (who commute to work by other means) which limited the availability of spaces for other, shorter-term users like shoppers.