The True Cost of Moving to Cheaper Suburban Housing

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?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Suburban Poverty and the Transit Connection

|
Today on the Streetsblog Network, Yonah Freemark of The Transport Politic looks at the new Brookings Institution report on suburban poverty levels and the connection to future transportation planning in those regions. Freemark, who recently wrote about how the city of Paris is extending its transit infrastructure to its traditionally lower-income suburbs, points out that […]

More People, Less Driving: The Imperative of Curbing Sprawl

|
Experience with case studies has made it clear to many urban planners and environmentalists that to maximize the benefits of transit investments, and to slow growth in traffic congestion, vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and carbon emissions, you have to focus on land use. Photo: Penn State. This knowledge has begun working its way into the […]

Separate but Eco: Livable Communities for Whom?

|
Note: The authors are active advocates in the urban sustainability movement, focusing on non-motorized transportation in low-income urban areas. As mixed race women of color, we believe that we are in a unique position to bridge the advocacy communities trying to better conditions for the urban poor and for the environment. In this series, we […]