Parking Reform for Affordable Housing Production

The Regional Plan Association published “Parking Policy Is Housing Policy: How Reducing Parking Requirements Stimulates Affordable Housing Production.”

1 minute read

December 14, 2022, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A sign reads “No Parking” for temporary construction, with a construction crane in the background.

Shnycel / Shutterstock

The Regional Plan Association (RPA) this week released a new report on the benefits of parking reform for housing production and housing choice.

According to the report, waiving parking requirements has yielded more new affordable homes, especially on smaller parcels of land. The report takes the “City of Yes” initiative announced by Mayor Eric Adams in June 2022, which includes the “Zoning for Housing Opportunity” program, as its inspiration, pushing for more attention to parking reforms.

Analyzing the limited examples of reduced parking requirements in zoning around New York City implemented under the previous mayoral administration, RPA “found that where parking minimums have been abolished, it has not only encouraged overall new housing production, but yielded a greater number of affordable units annually compared to geographies where parking minimums remained in place.”

“In other words, amending zoning codes toward the citywide abolition of minimum parking requirements can enable more robust housing production, both affordable and overall,” according to the report.

The big recommendation in the report: the Adams administration should deploy parking reform as an affordable housing tool. The previous de Blasio administration’s parking reforms were achieved by the “Housing New York” plan, launched in 2014, and the “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” plan, adopted in 2016.

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