Introduction and curation by John Hersey, Program Officer, Enterprise Community Partners, Denver, CO
Equitable TOD (eTOD): well-planned and implemented development near transit that accounts for the needs of low and moderate-income people, largely through the preservation and creation of affordable housing.
Find below a number of best practices and resources—reports on making the case for equitable transit oriented development; case studies from around the nation; items to bookmark for your toolkit.
Because housing and transportation are an average household’s two largest costs, co-locating affordable housing in transit-rich neighborhoods stands to offer the greatest public benefit for public investment. Equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) promotes inclusive, connected, diverse neighborhoods for young professionals, working families, fixed-income seniors, and others to enjoy a wide variety of nearby amenities.
Research has shown that eTOD benefits all neighbors, not just low-income households.
- Locating affordable housing near transit resists the “drive ‘til you qualify” impulse to move to ostensibly lower-cost suburbs with higher commuting costs, thereby reducing roadway congestion and increasing transit-farebox revenue for maintenance and service improvements.
- With 75 percent of all jobs in the nation’s 100 largest metro regions accessible by transit, greater access to transit reduces low-wage workers’ periods of unemployment and increases contribution to regional economies.
- By promoting walking and transit use, eTOD helps to address chronic health issues typical of low-income communities and to encourage seniors to receive medical care.
Affordable-housing advocates, local and state housing staff, elected representatives and developers should partner with peers in transit to promote eTOD as a fundamental attribute essential to producing and sustaining a vital economy, a diverse housing market, access to economic advancement and increased equity. If these stakeholders better understood the deep advantages of eTOD to families of all incomes, the development model would serve to anchor a regional mosaic of socially inclusive, economically vibrant and resource efficient neighborhoods to the benefit of all.
Below you will find a number of the best practices and resources– from items to bookmark for your toolkit to reports on how to “make the case” for equitable transit oriented development.
REPORT: Promoting Opportunity through Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (eTOD): Making the Case
By: John Hersey and Michael A. Spotts, Enterprise Community Partners
This report summarizes myriad research detailing the public benefits of improving coordination between state and local housing and transportation sectors, of creating policies to incent eTOD, and of dedicating public resources for public benefit.
Key points in this report:
Increases in property values (whether as a result of new transit service or a shift in demand to existing transit-served neighborhoods) may result in barriers to entry for lower-income households into such neighborhoods and would increase the likelihood of displacement.
In many cases, eTOD requires specific tools to preserve and create affordable housing opportunities in these neighborhoods.
eTOD can facilitate greater transit use and reduced VMT if barriers to increased housing supply near transit can be overcome. eTOD expands the market for housing near transit to encompass households of wider range of incomes.
The failure of planning, investment and development to account for equity can lead to negative impacts on local households, with spillover effects for the transportation system and local economy.
FUNDING: Filling the Financing Gap for Equitable Transit-Oriented Development: Lessons from Atlanta, Denver, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Twin Cities
This report considers capital constraints against eTOD investment in four U.S. regions and recommends a model eTOD financing system. The report describes 7 challenges to eTOD, along with possible solutions.
It considers the role of the following players: State/Local Government, MPOs, Transit Agencies, Philanthropy, Business Community, Community and Community-Based Organizations, Developers, Financial Institutions, National Capacity and Support.
The perceived and actual risks involved in large TOD projects do not have to be as great as they are currently. The lack of efficient and transparent planning, zoning and environmental approval processes adds a high level of unpredictability, time and risk to the development process.
This video highlights a HOPE VI re-development project in Denver’s La Alma neighborhood that accommodates public, low-income, and market-rate housing adjacent to a light-rail station and other amenities.
ARTICLE: Equitable transit-oriented development: Public benefit disguised as sticks and bricks. Oct. 8, 2015.
By: Walker Wells, Global Green; Cady Seabaugh, McCormack Baron Salazar; and John Hersey, Enterprise Community Partners
This blog argues for greater involvement from a range of stakeholders in promoting eTOD, with links to reports, projects, and community tools.
Suggested blog to check out: National Housing Conference Open House Blog
This tool helps planners to identify separate or aggregate housing and transportation costs for moderate- and median-income households at a variety of geographies to inform the location of affordable-housing and transit investments.
CASE STUDY: Incentivizing TOD: Case Studies of Regional Programs throughout the United States (PDF).
By: Strategic Economics, Oct. 8, 2012.
This report surveys TOD practices in six regions across the U.S. and highlights 11 exemplary programs in those regions.
By: Montgomery Housing Partners, Mar. 7, 2016.
This table outlines dozens of regulatory tools available to state and local housing and transportation planners and policymakers to support inclusive development in transit-rich neighborhoods.
By: Urban Land Institute, April 2011.
This report identifies ten principles for cross-sector partnerships and details practices in four U.S. regions that benefit eTOD.