Magazine article Poverty & Race

Response to PRRAC Critique of CNT's Housing + Transportation Affordability Index

Magazine article Poverty & Race

Response to PRRAC Critique of CNT's Housing + Transportation Affordability Index

Article excerpt

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) appreciates the opportunity to respond to a recent [July/ Aug. 2010 P&R, p. 13] critique of our Housing + Transportation (H +T) Affordability Index (htaindex.cnt.org) as a tool for siting affordable housing.

The H +T Index was created to reveal the inadequacy of current definitions of affordability and die unsustainable sprawl it has created. Conventional wisdom maintains that housing costs should not exceed 30% of household income. Our tool expands affordability to include transportation coststhe second largest expense for American households- and asserts that combined housing and transportation costs should not exceed 45% of household income. By this measure, affordability drops from 7 in 10 neighborhoods in U.S. metro areas to only 4 in 10 neighborhoods.

CNT agrees with the referenced Furman Center proposal that fair housing resources should be targeted to neighborhoods that provide walkability, transit options and access to opportunity. But affordable housing locations should increase opportunity without increasing costs. The H +T Index would help make that happen.

Although CNT supports the Furman Center's proposal, we would modify their definitions of opportunity and sustainability. …

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