July 28, 2016

Putting the “e” in eTOD


By Rachel Reilly Carroll, Enterprise Community Loan Fund

This week I’ve been discussing the connection between housing and transportation as I prepare for my journey with the Millennial Trains Project. Starting Sunday, I will be sharing context on the major housing and transportation issues impacting residents in each of the cities I am visiting: Pittsburgh; Chicago; Kansas City, Missouri; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Los Angeles.

Over the past decade, a growing number of cities and regions have made it a priority to provide affordable housing that is connected to transit and jobs. At Enterprise Community Partners, we are working with partners across the country – from Denver to Seattle, San Francisco to Atlanta – to ensure that transit investments are leveraged to protect and create opportunity for low-income and working families.

This is Equitable Transit-Oriented Development, or eTOD

Access to public transit can improve job opportunities and financial security. Did you know that you can save up to $10,000 per year by using public transit and not needing a car?

However, 75 percent of jobs available to low- and middle-income workers are located far away from the neighborhoods where they can afford to live. Those workers are now commuting 90 minutes – more than three hours roundtrip – every day to maintain their jobs. Low-income workers are much more reliant upon public transit, and at the same time are disproportionately impacted by the cost of commuting to work. This is illustrated in my hometown of Washington, D.C., where local leaders have recently prioritized investments in housing affordability and transportation because they found that increasing economic disparities threaten the region’s economic competitiveness.

Cities Need to Prioritize eTOD, and Bring Opportunity Home

At the Clinton Global Initiative this summer, our CEO Terri Ludwig presented with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on ways the government can use public investment in transit to attract diverse workforces, encourage economic growth, and promote both physical and social mobility for residents. Secretary Foxx has prioritized social equity in Department of Transportation (USDOT) programs, considering plans to promote affordable housing and access to opportunity as cities apply for competitive project funding.

Each of the cities I am visiting next week has either recently received funding from the Department of Transportation to further transit projects, which is why I’m eager to learn how they’re implementing eTOD practices as part of those investments.

Follow Along With Me

Follow along as I post blog updates on Housing Horizons. You can also keep up with my trip on Instagram and Twitter at @RachelReillyC, @MakeRoomUSA and @MillenialTrain.

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