HIP Tool: Parking Reductions

Reducing parking standards can help prevent excessive parking requirements that add to the cost of housing. Jurisdictions can better match residential parking standards with parking demand by studying neighborhood and resident characteristics, transit access and mobility. Once a balance is struck between standards and parking needs, maximum parking standards may be enacted to eliminate development of excessive parking.


What issues do parking requirement reductions address?

Parking requirement reductions contribute to housing affordability and encourage the use of alternative transportation modes.

Reducing Unneeded Parking:

  • Lower-income, senior and non-traditional single-family development households have lower rates of car ownership. Requiring more parking than necessary increases the cost of construction and reduces housing affordability.
  • Excessive parking takes up land and space that could otherwise be used for more housing or other development.

Encouraging Non-Auto Modes:

  • Requiring excessive parking tacitly encourages auto-dependence.
  • Requiring less parking promotes transit and non-motorized travel.

Where is a reduction in parking requirements most applicable?

Because the American urban landscape is still largely dependent on automobiles, reducing parking requirements is most applicable in areas or districts that have good transit accessibility and offer amenities within walking/biking distance.

  • Some larger jurisdictions with higher densities, compact form and lower rates of auto ownership are able incorporate a reduction in parking requirements in more neighborhoods or districts.
  • In smaller jurisdictions, reduced parking requirements may be more appropriate in downtown locations or business districts where space is at a premium, congestion is most severe, more transit options are available, and the community wants to foment a lively pedestrian atmosphere.

Parking reductions can be applicable to both attached and detached housing types making it a versatile tool to use in different markets.

Tool Profile

Focus Areas

  • Urban Centers
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Expensive Housing Markets
  • Innovative Single Family Techniques

Project Types

  • Single Family
  • Multifamily
  • Ownership
  • Rental
  • Market Rate
  • Subsidized

Affordability Level

  • 80 to 120% AMI
  • Less than 80% AMI

Housing Goal

  • Affordability
  • Diversity