We support housing for people—not for cars.

We support housing for people—not for cars.

In a city where more than 5,000 homeless individuals were served by the Community Shelter Board in just one year, building housing for people should take priority over building housing for personal vehicles.

When you think about it, aren’t garages just little houses for personal vehicles?

While they might be great for storage, and enticing you to buy a little more stuff than you might need, they also greatly increase the cost, complexity, construction time of housing development. For multi-family projects, like condos and apartments, parking can also be a weapon wielded by neighbors who are against having more neighbors.

Based on typical affordable housing development costs, one parking space per unit increases costs approximately 12.5%, and two parking spaces can increase costs by up to 25%.

Because parking costs are a higher percentage of rents charged for lower-priced housing and low-income households tend to own fewer vehicles, minimum parking requirements are regressive.

Studies show the that parking requirements are onerous, inflate-construction costs, and help induce and incentivize driving—a transportation mode with countless negative impacts.

Building structured parking—spaces in an above- or below-ground garage, rather than surface parking—is expensive. A single unit of structured parking adds an average of $50,000 in per-unit costs, but costs can be higher in some metro areas. Costs increase significantly when parking is underground or requires multiple levels of structure.

2020 report from The Brookings Institution

In Columbus, our city’s building and zoning code requires developers to build off-street parking. There’s a high cost to requiring permanent storage space for people’s personal vehicles, and that’s a cost paid by everyone—even those who don’t drive.

To learn more about the complex and unfair system of parking requirements, check out the work of Donald Shoup (link below).