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housing

Preserving Affordable Housing Near Transit

Reconnecting America, Enterprise and the National Housing Trust publish case studies from Atlanta, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Reconnecting America, Enterprise and the National Housing Trust have released a collection of case studies examining what cities are doing to ensure that affordable housing isn't lost as cities pursue transit-oriented development.

"Preserving Affordable Housing Near Transit: Case Studies from Atlanta, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C." describes ways metropolitan areas are addressing preservation challenges and opportunities, and identifies the strategies and tools communities can use to preserve affordable housing in transit-rich neighborhoods.

The builds on Reconnecting America's work with AARP and the National Housing Trust in "Preserving Affordability and Access in Livable Communities: Subsidized Housing Opportunities Near Transit and the 50+ Population."

"The findings of this report demonstrate that more than 250,000 privately owned, federally subsidized apartments exist within walking distance to quality transit in 20 metroropolitan areas. Nearly two-thirds of these apartments are covered by federal housing contracts set to expire over the next five years," the new report notes.

CTOD Creates Citywide Toolkit For TOD In Los Angeles

Report assesses opportunities to improve land use and transportation linkages in communities surrounding 70 existing and planned transit stations

The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) has released the "Creating Successful Transit Oriented Districts in Los Angeles: A Citywide Toolkit for Achieving Regional Goals" report, which assesses opportunities to improve land use and transportation linkages in communities surrounding 70 existing and planned transit stations in the City of Los Angeles. The report identifies strategies to help communities around transit stations achieve high transit ridership, increase mixed-income and mixed-use housing opportunities and create sustainable neighborhoods while offering its residents a wealth of travel options.

The report was produced through a grant awarded by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The CTOD project took place over an intensive 15-month period, including the participation of key stakeholders and focus groups. The result was the development of a "toolkit" that includes a station typology, station area profiles, and a set of regional maps that analyze demographic and economic conditions throughout the city. Community goals and factors such as transit use and commute mode, equity, existing density, and auto ownership were all taken into consideration in developing the toolkit.

Mixed-Income Housing Near Transit: Increasing Affordability With Location Efficiency

TOD 201 booklet explores theory and best practices for including mixed-income housing in conjunction with transit-oriented development

The latest booklet in the Center for Transit-Oriented Development's series of "100" and "200" manuals has been added to the website. These booklets explain the theory and best practices of transit-oriented development.

The TOD 201 booklet "Mixed-Income Housing Near Transit: Increasing Affordability With Location Efficiency" discusses how providing for a mix of incomes in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods near transit improves the already considerable benefits of having mixed-income neighborhoods by significantly reducing transportation costs.

Creating mixed-income TOD deepens the affordability of housing because families can get by with one less car or no cars -- resulting in the savings of thousands of dollars per household annually.

Realizing The Potential for Sustainable, Equitable TOD

Reconnecting America White Paper makes recommendations to federal partnership on sustainable communities

In June 2009, the Obama Administration announced a new interagency partnership on sustainable communities between the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency. An early action by the Partnership was to announce a set of Livability Principles to guide future federal investments, policy development, and programs. These include:

  • Provide more transportation choices. Develop safe, reliable, and economical transportation choices to decrease household transportation costs, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote public health.
  • Promote equitable, affordable housing. Expand location- and energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation.
  • Enhance economic competitiveness. Improve economic competitiveness through reliable and timely access to employment centers, educational opportunities, services and other basic needs by workers, as well as expanded business access to markets.
  • Support existing communities. Target federal funding toward existing communities—through strategies like transit-oriented, mixed-use development, and land recycling—to increase community revitalization and the efficiency of public works investments and safeguard rural landscapes.
  • Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment. Align federal policies and funding to remove barriers to collaboration, leverage funding, and increase the accountability and effectiveness of all levels of government to plan for future growth, including making smart energy choices such as locally generated renewable energy.
  • Value communities and neighborhoods. Enhance the unique characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe, and walkable neighborhoods—rural, urban, or suburban.

Report Finds Thousands Living In Affordable Housing Near Transit Could Face Higher Rents

Study by AARP, Reconnecting America and National Housing Trust explores impact of expiration of contracts for federally subsidized units

In the next five years as many as 160,000 renters in 20 metro areas could lose their affordable apartments near transit because the contracts on their privately-owned HUD-subsidized rental units are due to expire. The renewed popularity of urban living means that properties in walkable neighborhoods near transit have increased in value, and that property owners are likely to opt out of the HUD program and convert the housing from affordable to market rate.

These are the results of a recent study by AARP, Reconnecting America and the National Housing Trust, which released the results in Washington, DC, on Sept. 30. The study found that there are more than 250,000 privately owned HUD-subsidized units within a half-mile of existing or proposed rail stations in the 20 regions, and that contracts on two-thirds of these units are due to expire by the end of 2014. Almost a quarter of the units are designated for seniors.

“Affordable housing near public transportation is a very special resource because families who use transit can reduce their transportation expenditures by 16 percent – so these subsidized apartments are made even more affordable because of their location,” noted Reconnecting America President and CEO John Robert Smith. “The federal government should ensure that this housing remains affordable.”

Central Maryland Looks To TOD For Future

Regional action plan developed with technical assistance of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development

The Central Maryland Transportation Alliance has released "Central Maryland TOD Strategy: A Regional Action Plan For Transit-Centered Communities.

"The continuing and expanding prosperity of Central Maryland will rely on careful and prudent transit investments that continue to link jobs and housing, and people with their destinations, while creating the types of neighborhoods in which people will want to live," notes the report's executive summary.

Technical assistance for this study was provided by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development.

"TOD should not be thought of as a one-size fits all development solution, but rather a paradigm shift to focus on creating high-quality, strong communities connected by a multi-modal transportation network," the report states. "This report identifies key challenges and opportunities to move toward the transit-oriented development end of the spectrum, as well as identifying key locations, strategies, and tools for accomplishing this shift."

Growing Mixed-Income TOD

CTOD’s MITODAG shows communities effective strategies and tools

As TOD planning processes proliferate there is a broader understanding that mixed-income housing supports many TOD goals including stable transit ridership, better public health, broadened access to opportunities, and deeper affordability. This Mixed-Income TOD Action Guide was developed for the nonprofit Great Communities Collaborative (GCC), which is working in the San Francisco Bay Area to ensure TOD planning processes result in neighborhoods that include households of all income levels. The guide “walks” users through a three-step analysis to determine the most effective strategies and tools.

The first step involves collecting data on the community’s demographics and economic and physical conditions (an inventory of the housing stock and land supply, for example). The second step is a “needs and opportunities” assessment that asks questions such as “Which populations are currently underserved?” “Is the housing market hot or cold?” “Is the emphasis on housing preservation or production, or both?” “Is affordable housing in the process of being built now?” These two steps help users match their community with one of several scenarios, each of which comes with recommendations for a suite of strategies and tools.

Opportunities for Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

Somerville Community Corp. study for city of Somerville

Somerville: Reconnecting America worked with the Somerville Community Corporation to identify needs and opportunities for equitable transit-oriented development in the City of Somerville, with a focus on the planned extension of the Green Line. The report highlights demographic and real estate trends, and outlines a series of strategies for achieving mixed-income TOD.

TCRP 128: Effects of TOD on Housing, Parking and Travel

Transit Cooperative Research Program research findings

New research recently completed for the Transit Cooperative Research Program provides the ammunition to build TODs that take the benefits of transit into account. The study completed by PB PlaceMaking, Dr Robert Cervero, The Urban Land Institute and the Center for Transit Oriented Development looked at how automobile use of residential TODs compared to conventional development.

Our research looks at the actual transportation performance of 17 built TOD projects. This was done by counting the passage of motorized vehicles using pneumatic tubes stretched across the driveways of TOD housing projects of varying sizes in four urbanized areas of the country: Philadelphia/N.E. New Jersey; Portland, Oregon; metropolitan Washington D.C.; and the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area.

In fact, the results of this research clearly show TOD-housing produces fewer automobile trips in the four urbanized areas. The research confirms the ITE trip generation and parking generation rates over estimate automobile trips for TOD housing by 50%.

TCRP 128: Effects of TOD on Housing, Parking and Travel

Center for TOD Demand Estimate Update

Market demand estimate for TOD rises from 14.6 million households by 2025 to 15.2 million by 2030.

The Center for TOD has updated its market demand estimate for the number of households likely to be looking to rent or buy housing near transit, from 14.6 million households by 2025 to 15.2 million households by 2030. These numbers are more than double the number of households who live near transit today. Meeting this demand would necessitate building 2,000 housing units near every station in the U.S. The earlier demand estimate was released in our landmark TOD market study ³Hidden in Plain Sight: Capturing the Demand for Housing Near Transit² in 2004. The numbers were updated for 2030 in order to be consistent with the time horizon of many regional transportation and land use planning efforts underway, as well as to account for the construction of new fixed-guideway systems.

Center for TOD Demand Estimate by City

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