The Interplay of Housing and Transportation

Housing on city fringes may be cheaper, but research has shown that after a certain threshold (about 15 miles), the high cost of commuting is no longer offset by it.
February 19, 2009, 11am PST | Judy Chang
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"ULI's press release summarizes the findings neatly:

'Housing located far from transit and employment centers places a heavy financial strain on working families in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region, according to a new publication . . . Beltway Burden documents the challenges faced by area working families who are forced to 'drive 'till they qualify' for housing, incurring higher transportation costs that eventually erode their housing cost savings. It finds that area families are victim to combined housing and transportation costs that constitute, on average, nearly 47 percent of the area median income . . .

'The report points out that 'we need to use our existing infrastructure more wisely and more intensively.' Public policies are needed to preserve the existing stock of affordable housing in the city and older suburbs. More compact development would make public transit more economically feasible and attract retail and other uses, thus reducing congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and transportation costs, the report says.

'These challenges will only increase with the projected addition of 1.7 million new households over the next 20 years in the region.'"

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Published on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 in Natural Resources Defense Council
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