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.
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 secretaries of the US Department of Transportation and HUD have announced their intent to focus efforts on promoting the construction of housing near public transit in order to create more affordable and sustainable communities. Reconnecting America has long encouraged the US DOT and HUD to integrate transportation and land use planning in order to create true affordability and sustainability, based on research showing the impact of transportation on both the cost of living and greenhouse gas emissions.