5 Policy Changes To Make Life Better for Renters

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It’s Renter’s Week at Curbed Philly, and I have a guest post up with 5 policy changes that would make life cheaper and easier for renters. Go check it out!

Here’s one that’s relevant to the zoning changes in the dock today at Philly City Council:

2. End Minimum Parking Requirements. Most local governments force developers to provide a minimum number of parking spaces for each housing unit. The problem is, it’s not the developer who pays for those parking spaces—it’s the tenant. In a walkable city like Philly with a pretty good public transportation system, lots of people don’t own cars. But they still end up paying for other people’s parking, because the parking costs are bundled into their rent. It’s a shadow tax on people who don’t drive, that subsidizes those who do.

The new zoning code sensibly got rid of the parking minimums in many of the most walkable neighborhoods, but now Darrell Clarke and City Council members want to bring them back for some of the most common building types. It’s a terrible deal for renters. Ashley Hahn at PlanPhilly recently wrote a good primer on how parking minimums make housing more expensive and stymie walkable development.

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