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  • Writer's pictureZack Deutsch-Gross

Housing and Parking Webinar Delivers Resources, Inspiration

On October 18, 2023, TransForm gathered an expert panel to present information and answer questions about how to advance affordable housing with less parking. About 50 people participated in the webinar, which grew out of TransForm’s report, Parking Revolution/Housing Solution. The panelists were:

  • Grecia Mannah-Ayon, TransForm Housing Policy Manager

  • Marlene Salazar, Senior Program Officer for Enterprise Community Partners

  • Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing Development Corporation

  • Stuart Cohen, TransForm Founder and Senior Policy Advisor, and the report author.

Mannah-Ayon started the discussion by pointing to opportunities to influence municipal codes about parking in new buildings, most of which will be updated by 2024. She called out San Jose, which has eliminated parking minimums, and Emeryville, which has instituted a parking maximum.

Salazar emphasized the benefits of funding from California’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program, which uses Cap-and-Trade money to reduce GHG by incentivizing mode shift. AHSC supports infill housing and high-density projects near transit and active transportation hubs, and projects with lower parking ratios are more competitive for these funds.

Moss spoke about a recent Mission Housing project, Kapuso at the Upper Yard, which is 100% affordable housing with no parking above a transit station in San Francisco. He noted that affordable housing developers are uniquely qualified to coordinate development with surrounding amenities, enabling residents to choose other transportation options than driving.

During the question and answer portion of the webinar, Mannah-Ayon noted that parking is often weaponized to block affordable housing. Cohen pointed out the valuable ground-floor uses, such as childcare space, that get lost when projects include parking. Moss said he’s anti-car but understands it’s unfair to tell people they can’t own cars. Mission Housing works with tenants who need help finding and affording parking spaces. Salazar pointed out that biking and walking infrastructure is often lacking in communities of color, and AHSC funds can help build out missing sidewalks and bike lanes.

The webinar closed on a hopeful note. Mannah-Ayon said, “The thought that everybody deserves shelter is becoming mainstream.” Building homes for people, not cars, is a terrific way to gain more affordable housing.

Watch the webinar:


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