Sunday, May 8, 2011

Housing + Transportation =
An affordable place to live?

Calculations of housing affordability typically only includes housing costs and Americans typically consider housing to be affordable if it costs less than 30% of their income. The Center for Neighborhood Technology developed the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index to get a more complete assessment of affordability.  H+T takes into account the cost of transportation associated with the location of the home as well as housing costs. When transportation costs are factored in, cities with higher housing cost, but with good transit systems and diverse transportation options are often more affordable than auto-dependent suburban and rural locations.

Commute Solutions uses a more comprehensive calculation of commuting costs by factoring in out-of-pocket direct driver's expenses and the indirect costs of driving, including road construction, air and water pollution, congestion and land use impacts. Their cost figures are for California, but the list of indirect costs is educational and thought-provoking. 

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