Transportation and Housing (cont’d)
Yesterday’s post from Kevin Conrad on the T4America webinar highlights the growing recognition of the critical linkage between transportation policies–especially at the federal level–and housing-market dynamics. In the same vein, it was encouraging to see that USDOT and HUD recently announced an interagency partnership to create “affordable, sustainable communities” (here is the statement from USDOT).
Central to this partnership is a high-level interagency task force that will coordinate federal transportation and housing investments, with an eye toward giving individuals and families a greater range of options in transportation use and in affordable housing near good jobs.
One of the goals of the task force is to:
Enhance integrated regional housing, transportation, and land use planning and investment. The task force will set a goal to have every major metropolitan area in the country conduct integrated housing, transportation, and land use planning and investment in the next four years. To facilitate integrated planning, HUD and DOT seek, through HUD’s proposed Sustainable Communities Initiative which it will administer in consultation with DOT, to make planning grants available to metropolitan areas, and create mechanisms to ensure those plans are carried through to localities.
The idea of flowing dollars down to the local/regional level for such integrated planning is exciting. One of the keys will be ensuring adequate funding levels, a goal that would ideally figure into debates–later this year or early next–over the new federal transportation bill.