Plan targets parking spots to create affordable housing

Architecture fellows seek to spur developers to spend money on subsidized units

TRD New York /
Sep.September 16, 2014 12:05 PM

Three architecture fellows at the Institute for Public Architecture have proposed a project that would leverage 9-by-18-foot parking spaces instituted by old zoning regulations in an effort to create affordable housing. The standard unit size of affordable housing and parking spaces have nearly the same dimensions. 

In a column, Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for the New York Times, said he supports the “9 x 18” proposal. The main reason, he said, is that it “capitalizes on an outdated and onerous zoning mandate that requires private developers to build parking spaces for new apartments in certain parts of the city.” The zoning rule ends up costing developers as much as $50,000 per parking space, according to one academic study.

The “9 x 18″ plan aims to spur developers to spend money on subsidized housing rather than parking.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “administration wants to think big and work from the ground up, housing-wise,” Kimmelman wrote. “Time is wasting. By one estimate, the city has a net loss of 38,000 subsidized apartments every year, so even 200,000 in a decade would barely stem the decline. The ‘9 x 18’ plan is rough, but a start.” [NYT]Mark Maurer

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