Parking Dwelling Permit
A proposed approach for flexible low-cost housing, e.g. for addressing homelessness, refugee, emergency, affordable housing needs, from Tim McCormick.
The idea is that cities, especially US cities, typically have large numbers of free parking spaces that are often unused, or in any case arguably mis-priced. Cities usually also have parking management programs for their parking on public land, e.g. streets, that create zones and rules, and issue different types of permits for parking use (police/emergency, special event, Resident Parking Permit programs, commercial vehicle, etc).
What if cities extended their parking management programs to create a "Parking Dwelling Permit" (PDP) program, in which certain parking locations might be marked as allowing or requiring such PDPs? PDPs might work as follows:
- issued by a city office, in cooperation with public and/or private housing agencies
- permits are unique, non-transferable, and issued to a particular vehicle or vehicle-dwelling owner
- permits might be issued to only vehicles meeting certain inspection standards, or only certain pre-approved units
- permits might be for a specific zone, or a specific specified location, and certain time period.
- permits must be displayed on the vehicle
- permitted use would include rules on garbage and waste disposal, nuisances, etc., and can be revoked for violations.
- approved units for this use might be supplied by the city, or other parties (e.g. non-profits, donors, crowdfunded)
- permits could have a price, or price per time period, to reflect and support public services related to them such as garbage collection, police, fire, etc.
While parking areas are, of course, not usually zoned "residential", such zoning technically only limits residential-type buildings in those locations. Vehicles or vehicle-dwellings such as on-trailer homes are not legally buildings. What usually prohibits vehicle dwelling, if it is prohibited, are municipal ordinances that forbid or limit it, and these ordinances could be amended to create an exception for Parking Dwelling Permit cases.
Twitter hashtag search link for topic: #ParkingDwellingPermit.
Safe Parking programs
various cities have or are considering Safe Parking programs, in which typically a city or non-profit-owned parking lot, or section of, is made available for unhoused vehicle dwellers to park overnight. Usually, and sometimes by requirement of authorizing legislation, there are facilities provided such as bathrooms, showers, or port-a-potties.
Safe Parking programs, in contrast to the proposed Parking Dwelling Permit program typically:
- host people only in vehicles they already own
- are only open for part of the day, i.e. nighttime
- allocate space according to whoever shows up, not by prior permit
Selected previous twitter conversations on topic
- Kimble, Megan."We Tested the Tiny-Home Trend: What it's like to spend the night in a 325-square-foot Kasita." Austin Monthly, May 2018. https://www.austinmonthly.com/AM/May-2018/We-Tested-the-Tiny-Home-Trend/.
- McCormick, Tim. "Tiny Houses for the Homeless in San Francisco?" Nov 18, 2015. https://medium.com/@tmccormick/tiny-houses-for-the-homeless-in-san-francisco-5c87ca5625db.
- National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty."TENT CITY, USA: The Growth of America’s Homeless Encampments and How Communities are Responding." 2017. http://nlchp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Tent_City_USA_2017.pdf.
- Shoup, Donald. The High Cost of Free Parking.