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The True Cost of Moving to Cheaper Suburban Housing

9:31 AM EDT on March 10, 2009

Today Streetsblog Network member The City Fix reports on the "cost of place" in the Washington, DC, area -- the way that the price of housing and transportation stacks up for people in the urban core and the suburbs. According to a report recently released by the Urban Land Institute,

3184559931_ee0a0d13e1.jpgPhoto by ehpien via Flickr.

Living in the D.C. area is expensive. So, in order to find affordable homes, many median-income families move out to more remote suburbs. But these areas are often under-served by mass transit and far-removed from work centers. Therefore, “efforts to save on housing expenses often lead to higher transportation costs, with the result that an even larger portion of household budgets are consumed by the combined burden of housing and transportation costs.”

Proposed policy solutions to the conundrum include creating more housing and transportation choices; focusing on compact development; getting employers to play their part (by offering telecommuting options, for instance); and maintaining and improving the public transit systems in the region.

If you live in the DC area or plan to move there, the ULI has a nifty cost calculator that will let you figure out the combined costs of your own housing and transportation.

Other interesting posts from around the network: over the next couple of months, Transportation for America is setting up some great "webinars" where you can get your questions about transportation policy answered; The Transport Politic looks at how best to serve the bike/transit commuter; and How We Drive features a PSA from Australia that suggests men who speed in their cars might be... overcompensating, shall we say?

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