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Housing Plus Transportation In DC

The DC Office of Planning (OP) in cooperation with the Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) released H+T in DC: Housing + Transportation Affordability in Washington, DC, a report that investigates how neighborhood characteristics such as proximity to jobs and access to transit vary across the region and affect household transportation costs. The study found that average household transportation costs across the region ranged from $8,500 to as much as $25,000 per year for a typical household.  Actual costs can be even lower when the neighborhood enables the residents to live without owning a car.

The DC study is based on CNT’s Housing + Transportation (H+T®) Affordability Index, which uses US Census data to examine how neighborhood and household characteristics affect transportation costs such as car ownership and transit use. Since 2006, CNT has applied the H+T Index model to 337 US metro regions.  

For the DC study, OP worked with CNT to update regional data to reflect changes in housing costs and gas prices and improve the regional transit data and land use information. The Index holds household variables such as income and number of commuters constant to show how the built environment influences transportation costs.  In doing so, the study highlights how land use planning decisions such as creating mixed-use developments and adding transit stops or streetcar lines would affect household transportation costs for a neighborhood.  

The study fits into the goals of the Region Forward report by the Greater Washington 2050 Coalition of public, private and civic leaders. Region Forward sets a goal that average household housing and transportation cost in major job centers will not exceed 45% of the area median income.

For more information on this study, please contact Art Rodgers at [email protected] or (202) 442-8801.