How to Measure Affordable Housing? Include Transportation Costs

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The Housing and Transportation H+T Affordability Index
This index provides a comprehensive way of thinking about the true affordability of place. The H+T Index offers an expanded view of affordability, one that combines housing and transportation costs and sets the benchmark at no more than 45% of household income. It presents housing and transportation data as maps, charts and statistics for 917 metro and micro areas. Costs can be seen from regional to neighborhood level.

Below is an article that references this H+T Index:

It’s Time to Change How We Measure Affordable Housing
Joe Cortright | City Lab
June 23, 2017
A cheap home isn’t affordable if it comes with high transportation costs

. . . .There are lots of reasons to believe that a single, fixed percentage of income standard does a poor job of reflecting whether housing is priced appropriately, and whether households are being asked to spend too much. I’ve explored some of these issues before, but today I want to focus on one key issue: the tradeoff between cheap rents and costly transportation.

. . .

What this means as a practical matter that you can’t judge whether an individual household’s living situation is affordable just by looking at whether they spend less than 30 percent of their income directly on housing.


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