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600451-00107-1 Report Abstract

State and Regional Tools for Coordinating Housing and Transportation

Akul Nishawala, Kate Lowe and Marla Nelson, January 2014

Federal, state, and local governments spend billions on transportation infrastructure and affordable housing subsidies, but rarely with complete coordination. States and regional entities are pivotal in shaping transportation and housing systems. State agencies not only spend state-generated revenue but also frequently determine how federal resources are allocated. The largest federal subsidy for affordable, rental housing is the low-income housing tax credit program, but states largely determine the allocation of these credits. With increasing attention on the need to combine affordable housing with mobility options, this report examines which states have incorporated transit proximity into their allocation of low-income housing tax credits. In addition, the report also reviews to what extent low-income residential patterns are included in federally required, regional transportation planning. We find that most states address transportation in their allocation of low-income housing tax credits, with the most common transportation criterion being proximity to transit (e.g., whether a development was .25 or .5 miles from transit). Across metropolitan areas, our scan of regional plan documents revealed inconsistent consideration of the residential locations of low-income households. In both policy areas, we thus observe some attention to the relationship between housing location (for low-income households) and transportation systems. The steps toward integration are still new, without documented efficacy, and even with initial progress and attention across spheres, integration challenges may remain.

Keywords: Affordable Housing, Low-income Households

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 820 KB)