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How Much of Your Rent is a Hidden Parking Cost?

A few days ago, we gave you a map of the top 30 places to rent in Philadelphia right now, chosen for how their amenities, location, or pricing stack up against the competition. A good many of the buildings boast garage parking for residents, some offering up to two spaces per unit, depending on the size of the residence. It doesn't take much for us to want to follow that siren song luring us from the daily struggle of street-side parking (see: 'savesies') and into the warmth and predictability of a space of our very own. But, the reality is that garage parking is mighty costly. You just might not notice because often times it's bundled into your rent.

Seth Goodman at Reinventing Parking created a graphic explaining the range of parking costs depending on where you live. The average is about $225 per month, and in Philly it's even higher. Why? because of how much it took to build that garage (including land purchase and permits), and how much it costs to maintain it.

Goodman says parking should be "unbundled" from housing, giving renters the choice to pay for parking or not. In fact, he continues, bundled parking costs could represent a significant factor in whether people from lower income brackets can afford to live in certain areas of the city at all.

This reality affects the ability of lower income households to live in urban areas since parking costs roughly the same to build whether an apartment is luxury grade or modest. An $18,000 spot might not have a noticeable impact on the rent of a $300,000 unit, but it would definitely be noticed by someone renting a $75,000 unit.

· How much of your rent covers the hidden cost of parking? [streets blog]
· Where to Rent in Philly Right NOW, Mapped [Curbed Philly]]