Counterpoint: The “Housing + Transportation Index” and Fair Housing
In 2010, the “Center for Neighborhood Technology”:http://www.cnt.org/ released its “Housing + Transportation Affordability Index”:http://htaindex.cnt.org/, which ranks the affordability of neighborhoods based on a combined housing and transportation cost measure. The index grew out of the recognition that transportation is a growing share of household budgets, and that its cost is directly related to location. Without taking it into account, areas may seem to be “affordable” based on housing cost alone when in fact they impose a high cost burden in terms of transportation. In the following exchange, Philip Tegeler of “Poverty and Race Research Action Council”:http://www.prrac.org/ (below) and Scott Bernstein of CNT (“part 2”:http://www.shelterforce.org/article/2175/consider_transportation_cost_to_make_fair_housing_practical/) discuss what to do about some of the possible unintended consequences of expanding the definition of affordability that far, but not farther.
Transportation and Fair Housing Part 1: We Need a Better Measure of Opportunity
Factoring in costs that tend to be lower in urban high-poverty neighborhoods, but not costs that tend to be higher there makes the H+T Index unsuitable as a tool for locating low-income housing. By Philip Tegeler
Transportation and Fair Housing Part 2: Consider Transportation Cost to Make Fair Housing Practical
The H+T Index should be used to site affordable housing, because it can identify which high-opportunity areas also are truly affordable in terms of transportation costs. By Scott Bernstein