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Open letter about affordable housing sans parking in North Bethany

Posted by Peter W on July 18, 2007

I sent this on Tuesday, July 12 to the North Bethany study group:

This is about affordable housing for Sam Galbreath and the Housing Focus Group.

Say I’m a student at PCC, or a teacher at one of the schools in North Bethany. I don’t make a lot of money, but one way I save money is by biking or taking public transit. I’d like to live in North Bethany – either rent a place or buy a small condo. I don’t have a car, so will I have the option to save money by *not* paying for a parking space or having a garage attached?

I’ve been reading that housing with parking can be much more expensive – like tens of thousands of dollars more expensive. I’ve also read that if the cost of parking is unbundled from the cost of housing – so people buying houses can opt out of buying parking – then suddenly 20% more people can afford mortgages.

In a development which is promoting alternative transit, I believe this could work. It has been done successfully in other cities, including San Francisco, New York, and Portland. It may not be an obvious fit for North Bethany due to its suburban nature, but I definitely think there’d be a market for this among people looking for affordable housing.

Please let me know if this will be an option for North Bethany.

Thanks.

p.s. references:
http://www.livablecity.org/resources/ExSum_NeighborhoodGroups.doc
http://livablecity.org/resources/ExSum_Developers_Lenders.doc
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/realestate/12nati.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5070&en=cb543148a87eab59&ex=1184904000
http://www.spur.org/documents/981101_report_01.shtm

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