The True Cost of Moving to Cheaper Suburban Housing

Today Streetsblog Network member The City Fix
reports on the "cost of place" in the Washington, DC, area — the way
that the price of housing and transportation stacks up for people in
the urban core and the suburbs. According to a report recently released
by the Urban Land Institute,

3184559931_ee0a0d13e1.jpgPhoto by ehpien via Flickr.

Living
in the D.C. area is expensive. So, in order to find affordable homes,
many median-income families move out to more remote suburbs. But these
areas are often under-served by mass transit and far-removed from work
centers. Therefore, “efforts to save on housing expenses often lead to
higher transportation costs, with the result that an even larger
portion of household budgets are consumed by the combined burden of
housing and transportation costs.”

Proposed policy solutions to the conundrum
include creating more housing and transportation choices; focusing on
compact development; getting employers to play their part (by offering
telecommuting options, for instance); and maintaining and improving the
public transit systems in the region.

If you live in the DC area or plan to move there, the ULI has a nifty cost calculator that will let you figure out the combined costs of your own housing and transportation.

Other interesting posts from around the network: over the next couple of months, Transportation for America is setting up some great "webinars" where you can get your questions about transportation policy answered; The Transport Politic looks at how best to serve the bike/transit commuter; and How We Drive features a PSA from Australia that suggests men who speed in their cars might be… overcompensating, shall we say?

  • mcas

    There are also strong reasons why Urban Sprawl hurts workers and depresses wages, which also increases the cost further. See: http://urbanhabitat.org/node/2746

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