Transit-Oriented Development in the Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic market advocates for and finances affordable housing between Northern Virginia and Central Maryland. Responding to one of the nation’s hottest housing markets in Greater Washington, D.C., Enterprise has directed the Green Preservation of Affordable Transit-Oriented Housing (GreenPATH) Initiative in transit-served neighborhoods and is engaging partners and securing funds in emerging suburban transit corridors. In Baltimore, our office has studied transit-oriented affordable housing opportunities and, along with 25 consortium members, helped to shape the recently published Regional Plan for Sustainable Development.

Washington, D.C., Region

Since 2000, the number of affordable rental homes in Washington, D.C., have dropped from 70,000 to less than 35,000; the number of high-cost units (i.e., monthly rents over $1,500) have more than tripled; and one in five households spends more than half of their monthly income on rent. In response, Enterprise and our partners are working to preserve affordable housing near transit stations through the Green PATH Initiative.  To accomplish this goal, Enterprise is:

  • Raising flexible acquisition capital to provide more competitive acquisition and predevelopment loans for preservation and renovation of existing affordable housing near transit;
  • Working with non- and for-profit developers with capacity to acquire and manage multifamily housing;
  • Collaborating with public and private partners, local and regional governments, and coalitions to research and advocate for supportive local policy and dedicated funding sources that promote affordable housing preservation in transit-rich communities; and
  • Promoting high standard of green building to transform housing stock into energy-efficient, environmentally-sustainable and healthy homes.

Accomplishments to date include:

  • Raised approximately $17 million in dedicated acquisition capital;
  • Supported the preservation of over 1,030 affordable homes in transit-oriented neighborhoods, including 172 homes with targeted GreenPATH resources.
  • Buildings partnership with the region’s transportation board.

In addition to targeting existing transit corridors, we are focused on the planned Purple Line, a 16-mile light-rail service that would connect Washington, D.C.’s Metro-accessible northwestern and eastern suburbs. Enterprise is working closely with Montgomery and Prince George’s County leaders to leverage Maryland Neighborhood Conservation Initiative funding and other sources to address threats to affordability along the planned corridor. Enterprise estimates that there are over 22,000 rental units within a half-mile of the Purple Line with a significant portion renting at levels affordable to low and moderate-income households.

Baltimore

Since early 2013, we have studied opportunities to create or preserve affordable housing in the Baltimore region relative to existing and proposed transit stations, speaking with numerous developers, community development professionals, local, state and regional planners, housing and transportation staff, and other community leaders to gauge needs, understand best practices, and propose solutions.
Preliminarily, Enterprise has voiced a need for:

  • Greater transit connectivity and expansion to encourage greater use of the existing transit network of rapid transit, light rail, and buses;
  • Greater coordination among planning, housing, and transportation leaders at all levels of government to consistently promote equitable transit-oriented development; and
  • Continued support for the region’s non- and for-profit affordable-housing developers.

With support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, we produced a report detailing the region’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to expanding affordable housing near existing transit stations.  

We are one of 25 members of the regional Opportunity Collaborative, a consortium that developed the recently published Regional Plan for Sustainable Development that will help the Baltimore region coordinate investments in housing, transportation, and workforce development in order to reduce disparities and connect residents to a prosperous future.