HUD and DOT Secretaries Declare Groundbreaking Partnership to Link Housing and Transportation Policy
CNT’s mantra that housing affordability needs to include transportation costs, and position that housing and transportation need to be considered together in planning for sustainable communities, have been heard and acted upon in unprecedented ways in key places in the federal government.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Secretary, Shaun Donovan, and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary, Ray LaHood, both testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development and announced the creation of an interagency partnership to promote sustainable communities through coordinating housing and transportation policy and investments.
CNT’s work—both our advocacy positions and the data from our research—was cited several times in their testimonies to demonstrate the key relationship between housing affordability and transportation costs.
In their joint press releases, Secretaries Donovan and LaHood stated that this partnership is “to help American families gain better access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs. The average working American family spends nearly 60 percent of its budget on housing and transportation costs, making these two areas the largest expenses for American families.”
“CNT is delighted that HUD and USDOT officials formally recognize that affordability transcends housing and must include transportation costs in order to fit the pocketbooks of average Americans,” responded Scott Bernstein, CNT President. “With last summer’s escalating fuel costs, Americans learned they can no longer afford to ignore the second largest, and for many, the fastest growing expenditure in their budget.”
“In addition, while transportation costs may not be the primary cause of foreclosures, they certainly aggravate the problem, especially in outlying areas. As a country, we must direct the growth of our communities with housing, transportation and energy costs in mind so that we can achieve better economic, environmental and equitable outcomes for everyone.”
- WEBCASTS: Livable Communities, Transit Oriented Development, and Incorporating Green Building Practices into Federal Housing and Transportation Policy.
- TESTIMONY: Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood (.pdf)
- TESTIMONY: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan (.pdf)
- TESTIMONIES: Linked testimonies from the panel of experts at hearing
- BACKGROUND: September 2008 report to Congress from HUD/DOT that uses Center for Transit Oriented Development (of which CNT is a partner) research to help make the case for increased mixed-income and affordable housing near transit and helped facilitate agency coordination – “Better Coordination of Transportation and Housing Programs to Promote Affordable Housing Near Transit” (.pdf)