Making Affordable Housing At Transit A Reality
FRESC: Good Jobs, Strong Communities and Enterprise has created a report, Making Affordable Housing at Transit a Reality: Best Practices in Transit Agency Joint Development, which details the best practices of transit agency in incorporating affordability in joint development in 24 cities in the United States.
"Transit agencies’ primary mission is to provide transit service; however, most recognize that affordable housing can play a key role in supporting their mission," the report's authors, Robin Kniech and Melinda Pollack, note.
The authors found successful transit agencies play a critical complementary role to local governments, often initiating projects that include affordable housing that would not have otherwise been possible.
At least nine of the 24 transit agencies have joint development policies that include affordable housing and six others have practices of including affordable units in projects even in the absence of written policy.
As a result, at least 3,408 affordable housing units have been created through transit agency joint development, and at least 1,813 additional units are in various stages of planning and development.
"Increasingly, experts recognize that the combined costs of housing and transportation consume around 60 percent of low- and moderate-income families’ gross household income," the report concludes. "Addressing these costs in tandem, therefore, could dramatically improve these families’ quality of life, create more sustainable communities and increase transit ridership.
"This report documents the creation or planned development of nearly 5,000 units of affordable housing through transit agency joint-development policies and programs across the U.S. These units represent a small fraction of the overall need for affordable housing in our nation; however, the practices cited set important precedent for the creativity needed to make affordable housing near transportation a reality.
This report has been added to the Best Practices.