The Problem With How We Measure Affordable Housing

“A cheap home isn’t affordable if it comes with high transportation costs.”

CityLab recently posted an amazing article that delves into the cost of housing and transportation, and the relationship those costs have between themselves and the location of the housing. While suburban housing may be cheaper to rent or own than counterparts in urban areas, the lack of public transportation and walkability means that families in suburban neighborhoods will most likely need the use of cars more than those in urban areas, making the seemingly lower housing cost almost match, and sometime exceed the cost of housing in cities with accessible public transportation and walkable spaces.

One approach to this problem is the Housing and Transportation Index by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, which looks to quantify the combined cost of housing and transportation across different neighborhoods to make a more fair estimate of “affordable living” compared to “affordable housing.”

This article is a great first step to combining the issues of Social Stability and Coordinated Transportation, hopefully making it so that people who need assistance with the cost of housing will not only get that, but will get assistance with the cost of living.