Talking Headways Podcast: It Costs More to Drive Til You Qualify

The topic this week is housing affordability and transit, with guests Shima Hamidi, Reid Ewing, and John Renne. They discuss their recent paper in the journal Housing Policy Debate, “How Affordable is HUD Affordable Housing?” As it turns out, a lot of HUD rental assistance is spent in areas with high transportation costs. We talk about the impetus for the study and how they designed it.

So where should people live to keep their household transportation costs affordable? We explore that question and more, previewing upcoming research on transit-oriented parking standards, commercial rents near transit during the last recession, and tech innovation’s relationship to urban form.

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Are There Any Affordable Cities Left in America?

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Are Washington, San Francisco, and New York the most affordable American cities? A new report from the New York-based Citizen’s Budget Commission [PDF], which made the rounds at the Washington Post and CityLab, argues that if you consider the combined costs of housing and transportation, the answer is yes. But a closer look at the data casts […]

HUD and U.S. DOT Embrace Housing + Transportation Metric for Affordability

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A few years ago, the Center for Neighborhood Technology gave a wonderful gift to urbanists and planners: the Housing + Transportation Index. This simple calculation clarified and popularized a key concept: that transportation costs must be taken into account in any measurement of “affordability.” Without that, potential homebuyers and renters make the mistake of “saving” […]

High Transportation Costs Make a Lot of HUD Housing Unaffordable

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Rental assistance from HUD isn’t enough to make the cost of living affordable when the subsidies go toward housing in car-dependent areas, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Texas and the University of Utah. The study evaluated transportation costs for more than 18,000 households that receive HUD rental subsidies, estimating that nearly half of recipients have to spend more […]