Recently I asked readers how they would promote small buildings for better urban neighborhoods. Todd Litman sent a paper he authored for the Victoria Transport Policy Institute titled "Affordable-Accessible Housing In A Dynamic City: Why and How To Increase Affordable Housing Development In Accessible Locations". Todd defines affordable-accessible housing as "lower-priced apartments, townhouses, duplexes, small-lot single-family and accessory suites located in neighborhoods with shops, schools, healthcare and jobs that are easy to reach by walking, bicycling and public transit". Sounds good, let's keep reading:
"Many current policies and planning practices discourage accessible-affordable housing development. These include restrictions on building height, density and type; generous minimum parking requirements; and fees and taxes structured to favor fewer, more expensive units.
"There are many possible ways to increase housing and transportation affordability, but some are better than others because they reduce rather than shift costs, and support other strategic objectives such as reducing vehicle traffic and sprawl.
"Some relatively modest policy reforms can greatly improve affordability and accessibility, and therefore the lives of physically and economically disadvantaged people. These include changes to zoning codes to allow more diverse housing types, reduced parking requirements, improving walking and cycling conditions, and improved public transit service." Full paper here.