Mobility Lab tackles the challenges of building affordable housing near transit (i.e., transit-oriented affordable housing) by providing specific, real-world examples from cities and states.
Michael Ryan argues for a stronger connection between affordable housing and transit:
The term “affordable housing finance” isn’t quite as catchy as “carshare,” “bikeshare,” or any of the other technology improvements helping promote transportation demand management. Yet for low-income members of our communities, who stand to benefit the most from those solutions, affordable housing finance should be considered, and put to use as, a TDM strategy.
After listing a few of the ways that transit reduces the daily costs of mobility for residents, Ryan also notes some of the challenges to building more affordable housing near transit. For one, land values near transit tend to be higher, according to Ryan, "[making] it difficult for affordable housing developers to purchase land in these locations."
Ryan concludes by producing a list of policy ideas designed to help deliver transit-oriented affordable housing. Examples include
- The allocation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits through the Qualified Allocation Plans created by states for the U.S. Department of Urban Housing and Development. "Massachusetts is one of several states that have incorporated mobility into their QAPs by awarding points based on a project’s proximity to rail or bus," according to Ryan.
- Housing protection districts, such as the Special Affordable Housing Protection District included in the General Land Use Plan of Arlington, Virginia.
- A transit-oriented development fund, such as the Denver Regional Transit-Oriented Development Fund.
Norman, Oklahoma Eliminates Parking Mandates
The city made a subtle, one-word change that frees up developers to build parking based on actual need and eliminates costly unnecessary parking.
Boston Transit Riders Report Safety Concerns
Almost three-quarters of current and former riders report feeling unsafe while using MBTA services.
Boston to Begin Zoning Code Update, Mayor Announces
It’s been nearly 60 years, but the city of Boston is finally ready to do a comprehensive rewrite of its zoning code.
Proposal Could Mandate Sidewalks as Part of Seattle Complete Streets
Almost a third of the city’s neighborhood streets lack sidewalks.
San Francisco Supervisors Punt Housing Ordinance
After hours of public comment, the zoning reform package aimed at increasing housing production and limiting red tape was delayed for further discussion.
Pittsburgh Launches Adaptive Bike Share Fleet
The new bikes include a recumbent bicycle and a front-loading cargo bike.
City of Stonecrest
City of Grand Junction Police Department
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Mpact: Mobility, Community, Possibility
National Capital Planning Commission
City of Culver City
Salt Lake City Corporation
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.