Cities Struggle to Maintain Affordable Housing Near Transit

In Seattle, and elsewhere, city leaders are struggling to maintain the supply of affordable housing in close proximity to transit stations. Rising rents in areas near stops are displacing lower-income residents.
June 12, 2013, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"When the Central Link light-rail line opened [in Seattle] four years ago, city officials were hoping it would spur economic development in the working-class neighborhood of Rainier Valley," writes Kris Hudson. "The trains have lived up to expectations. Property values have risen, stores have opened, and ridership in the area has nearly tripled since the year after the service began. But there also are signs that rising housing costs near rail stops are starting to push out lower-income residents."

"Now, Seattle and other cities are trying to find ways to foster affordable housing near train stations. In the past couple of years, several have organized multimillion-dollar funds to provide low-interest loans to developers seeking to buy or build affordable housing near the stops. These cities, having spent billions to build light-rail systems, are loath to see those systems price out the residents who are most likely to use public transportation."

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Published on Monday, June 10, 2013 in The Wall Street Journal
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