Governor Quinn Signs the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index Act

Late last week Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index Act, which will give state agencies the complete information they need to make wise investment decisions in housing.

The theory behind the bill is simple: Housing costs do not end when we sign our rent or mortgage checks. Where we live has other costs associated with getting around: to work, to school, to the grocery store. How much that costs depends on where we live and what options are available to move us from point A to point B.

Given that reality, a true measure of affordability must take into account housing and transportation costs. In 2006, CNT launched the H + T Affordability IndexSM, a web tool that gives a more accurate assessment of affordability by providing homeowners and policy makers the housing and transportation costs for a community.

Just as families need to have the best information before they choose where to live, our state policy makers should have the best information as they invest scarce public resources in housing. With the H + T Index tool signed into law, public officials in five key state agencies will now have the best available tool to guide their investment decisions toward those that will truly reduce the cost of living for working families.

This legislation also positions Illinois as a national leader, making it the first state to create legislation that links housing and transportation affordability to reduce the cost of living for our households. New national priorities that link transportation and housing affordability to the disbursement of federal funds will make Illinois well-positioned to compete for those dollars.

CNT views this as just the beginning. We will work with the five state agencies, including the Illinois Dept. of Transportation and the Illinois Housing Development Authority, to make certain the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index Act will help create better and more affordable housing and transportation well into the future.