California YIMBY Statement on Passage of AB 1401 

June 02, 2021
An illustration of AB 1401

Bill by Asm. Laura Friedman Eliminates Costly Parking Mandate

“Affordable Housing for People, Not Expensive Parking for Cars”

Today California YIMBY released the following statement upon the passage of AB 1401 in the State Assembly: 

“With the passage of AB 1401 in the State Assembly, California took a giant step today toward addressing two of our most pressing crises: The shortage of affordable housing, and the pollution that causes climate change,” said Brian Hanlon, CEO of California YIMBY. “California YIMBY is proud to co-sponsor AB 1401. Our state needs affordable housing for people, not expensive and wasteful mandates for parking lots. The Assembly took a courageous vote to make California more affordable and our communities more livable. I’m hopeful that the State Senate will do the same.” 

AB 1401 is co-sponsored by California YIMBY, the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), Abundant Housing LA, and the Council of Infill Builders. 

Parking mandates increase the cost of housing — a single parking space can add as much as $80,000 to the cost of construction — and drive up the pollution that causes climate change. Research by UCLA’s Institute of Transportation Studies has found that “when parking requirements are removed, developers provide more housing and less parking, and different types of housing: housing in older buildings, in previously disinvested areas, and housing marketed toward non-drivers. This latter category of housing tends to sell for less than housing with parking spaces.” 

Under AB 1401, home builders in areas near transit and walkable neighborhoods gain the ability to choose how many parking spaces they include in their developments. Many California cities currently require two or even three parking spaces per home, which adds substantially to building costs — and often results in too much parking. AB 1401 doesn’t ban parking, but rather, gives both builders and residents the choice of whether to include the cost of parking in their home. 

“California YIMBY looks forward to working with our leaders in the state Senate to show how AB 1401 can help address the shortage of affordable housing in our state, while also reducing pollution from cars,” Hanlon said. “We’re grateful to Asm. Laura Friedman for her courageous leadership on this issue, as well as our co-sponsors — Abundant Housing LA, SPUR, and the Council of Infill Builders. This is a giant step toward more equitable, sustainable, and affordable cities.”