Reconnecting America is a national non-profit and we focus on creating thriving communities through research, education, and policy development. We have offices in Washington, DC, Oakland, California and Denver.. In DC we focus a lot on the role that federal policy plays in shaping our communities: develop research, policy proposals, and engage in the legislative process, especially through our Transportation for America campaign.CTOD is a partnership among Reconnecting America, Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), and Strategic Economics. CTOD is dedicated to providing best practices, research and tools to support equitable market-based transit-oriented development. We also focus on education through webinars, and we have an online clearinghouse of TOD and transit best practices.
My presentation will focus on a brief overview of Mixed-Income TOD, and I wont spend long on that section because Stephanie has already set the stage for the policies. I will then discuss affordable housing policies at federal, state and local level and then talk about some of the tools we’ve developed at the Center for Transit-Oriented Development.
Transit rich housing that is affordable to a range of incomes ages, and household types at the project or neighborhood scaleProvides housing for existing residents and workers –ie mixed-income, reduces overall housing and transportation costs, and helps to promote sustainability. This is TOD in its purest form. Its our ideal that all “TOD” should have these element but we know that its often hard to build good TOD…
We know that the ideal TOD is difficult because of the complex financing structure that is often required. Through our research we’ve found that the issues are the same: high cost of land, the level of public investment that is needed, addressing housing preservation needs etc.Image: Market rate housing in mixed-use building along the Third Street Promenade and Transit Mall in Santa Monica. The units are all market-rate but housing on adjacent streets is affordable, providing for a mix of incomes at the beach. (Mixed-Income Housing Near Transit, TOD 201)
So policy support to address these issues should be available at all levels and ideally they should support each other. There are some cases where state policy inhibits local municipalities from implementing certain strategies, example would be in Oregon, where state law prohibits inclusionary zoning policies. (Portland has been successful with implementing affordable housing policies and working with developers to create housing near transit)Portland has been successful with achieving affordable housing via development agreements that govern new development. Agreements between the Portland Development Commission (PDC) and private developers have set specific conditions and time scales for public and private revitalization efforts and community benefits.
Joint development refers to land owned by the transit agency that is developed by another private or sometimes public or non-profit partner. Transit agency would typically maintain the property rights though a lease and work in partnership to develop affordable housing. New Starts is the main funding sourcefor new rail lines in this country. We’ve been working with NHC on a proposal to amend New Starts so that regions who receive New Starts funding take more responsibility for the impact of transit on communities and would get a higher ranking if they have a comprehensive strategy for affordable housing or have made significant local investments in affordable housing. At DOT funding that goes down to the state level to the MPO’s. Sustainable Communities grant program – had a large impact on the way communities collaborate. In the last round of funding 107 grants in 45 regions and 61 individual communities was awarded. The requests from communities totaled more than $1.7 billion, for $140 million available funds .LIHTC which can be used for development or preservation of affordable housing. For LIHTC: preference for transit-rich project is inconsistent across states. States with transit preference need added boost for regionally significant transit (BRT or Rail Vs. Local Bus)Funds received through EPA can also have a really significant impact on creating whole communities, in the last round of sustainability grants, a small town in West Virginia received a grant as a part of a larger effort to revitalize and connect their downtown.Examples:HOME – On local level, Minneapolis Affordable Housing Trust Fund combines housing revenue bond fees with federal HOME and CDBG funds to support city’s affordable housing. Currently no specific example of HOME project with TOD.HOPE VI funds - example, North Beach Place mixed income housing in San Francisco, located along transit. (Image of the project on first slide). North Beach Place includes 341 affordable units, including public housing and Sec. 8 and affordable units to families earning no more than 50% AMI. The development also received a record $55M allocation of state and federal housing tax credits. The project is along a popular cable car route. http://www.housingfinance.com/ahf/articles/2005/august/014_AHF_12-3.htmAlso, Section 8 used to preserve affordable housing (ex: Oregon, Massachusetts)HOME, CDBG: additional sensitivity to complexity of mixed-income projects. Need more “patient” funds to address holding cost issue near transitClean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) programs provided more than $5 billion annually in recent years to fund water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, nonpoint source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management. Received ARRA funds.
At least 3,418 affordable housing units have been created through transit agency joint development. Transit agencies such as Portland, Seattle, LA, and Atlanta all have policies to support affordable housing on their land. Portland has a policy to consider whether development proposals will increase availability of housing for low-moderate income households. We recently completed some research on joint development and one of the main challenges we found, was in areas where affordable housing was a somewhat contentious local issue, its hard to convince agency's that they should include this in their purview. It equitable and it makes economic sense as Stephanie pointed out. There was one transit agency who was instructed by their board to not deal with affordable housing at all and to leave that issue to the city. For more information on FTA’s Joint Development http://fta.dot.gov/publications/about_FTA_11009.htmlImage Source: FRESC and Enterprise: Making Affordable Housing at Transit a Reality; Best Practices in Transit Agency Joint Development
In Connecticut, they provide implementation funds under the Housing Incentive Zone Program that provides technical assistance and financial incentives for municipalities to create housing incentive zones, which must be near transit stations or in existing MA –Housing and Smart Growth Incentive, which provides direct funding to cities to create zoning districts for compact housing near transit (or in existing commercial districts). CA example of requiring coordination of transportation and housing (SB 375)MD example of TOD redefined as transportation purpose
States use LIHTC to create incentives for locating affordable housing near transit. Some states link tax credit to smart growth strategies. LIHTC has been used for some preservation of affordable housing, which is an important strategy for places with colder markets that may not be able to attract new development. Preserve units in anticipation of change. Ex. New Jersey offers incentives for developments located within “transit villages”, designed to bring housing closer to public transit. Florida requires all single-room occupancy developments funded with LIHTC to be within one-half mile of public transportation (Source:NHT website)
The regional level is really important because of the different players involved and all the different plans that are required, for example Consolidated Plans, Long Range Transportation Plans and other regional plans. Some effective policies on this level are the funding investments that can be made for example Bay Area TOAH, Denver TOD Fund: supports the creation and preservation of over 1,000 affordable housing units through strategic property acquisition in current and future transit corridors. Now capitalized at $15 million but evolving to $30 million
This is an example of the regional collaboration: Initiative of the Great Communities Collaborative(GCC) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission which put in a $10 million investment Development must be located within ½ mile of existing rail, light rail or bus rapid transit.85 % of funds can be used for affordable housing, 15% can be used for neighborhood uses such as child care centers, fresh food markets and neighborhood retail. I think this aspect is one of my favourite aspects of this fund because it takes in other equity factors. You may have a housing development close to transit but missing some elements to really make that neighborhood complete ---fresh food being one of those things. Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has a housing incentive programImage from Bay Area TOAH powerpoint
Affordable housing falls into two main categories: production and preservation. Depending on your market conditions, it may be necessary to focus on both, or one or the other. I’ve listed a few policies here…Understanding the current market conditions, existing land availability, and the stability of the population in the different areas along a corridor can help to identify more specifically where preservation strategies are important to have in place and where more production-oriented strategies will have the most likelihood of success. Our MITOD tool, which I will show later, helps communities to think through these various tools and recommends policies depending on warm/cold market, land availability etc. The strategies that can play an important role in warm markets (i.e. density bonuses, inclusionary housing) are not always the same tools that work best in colder markets (i.e. preservation of expiring federally assisted units.) Overall though in the colder market its important to act before the land prices increase.Hot markets, where new development changes the character of existing neighborhoods at a very fast rate, can also result in the displacement of existing residents if housing prices (rent and property taxes) increase beyond any wage gains for the local population. Having preservation strategies (like rent control or condo conversion controls) in place before a market heats up can help prevent that negative impact on a community.A major tool that must be used locally regardless of policy is to educate the local audience. They can be major champions for implementing affordable housing. Adjust zoning to promote a diversity of housing types. Tax-Increment Financing district that is used to finance affordable housing, TIF freezes taxes and uses future incremental taxes to repay bonds. In the Atlanta BeltLine TIF, a portion of the funds must be set-aside for affordable housingCharlotte, North Carolina – state incentives for TOD and for development located in Charlotte Region Transit Station areas. (AARP, RA, NHT Study).
In the 1950s there was a freeway built through an African-American neighborhood, which disseminated the community. Since then, with the introduction of the light rail there has been a lot of concern about what would happen this time around. St. Paul and Minneapolis each had their own housing plan, but there didn’t seem to be a lot of coordination. They have now been engaging in an group effort to coordinate affordable housing strategies in the two cities, an initiative being led by Twin Cities LISC and the Central Corridor Funder Collaborative. They are currently in the process of developing an affordable housing strategy that will focus on minimizing displacement, preserving existing affordable housing (which is something we recommended to them given their limited availability of land for new development) and encouraging MITOD. Overall, they are getting a lot of input from the community. The community involvement more on St. Paul side and lower income areas are more over there. They have a fairly large project team. Including reps from community based organizations, planners, housers etc. Grassroots process. A lot of input from the community. This is the line that was dubbed the poster child for the cost effectiveness ratio. They line should have included stations in the low income community but it couldn’t be justified (cost index) and still obtain the New Starts funding. Funders Collaborative, aims more at funding the planning not necessarily the housing. They are struggling with priority funding for housing around Central Corridor. Massive transportation investment will create change in the neighborhood. CTOD role: We’ve done TOD assessment, we have a website for them etc. But in this process we play a supporting role if they need assistance with something. We held a workshop where we brought in some national speakers, wrote some case studies on affordable housing etc.Hennepin County also has a TOD program for redevelopment and construction within or adjacent to the County's transit corridors. A relatively new program, it is helping to construct a number of new projects beyond just the Hiawatha corridor. A majority of projects using these funds have been market rate.
Image shows Section 8 Affordable and 202 Elderly Housing Units and Section 811 Disabled within a ½ mile radius of transit.Current affordable housing stock in the neighborhoods along Washington and University Avenues could come under development pressures, especially as light rail transit investment in the area creates opportunities to live near transit
A tool for communities to foster Mixed-income TOD around transit stations. Interactive guide that asks you a set of questions about your community and gives you a recommended output of strategies to consider in your community. It helps you to think through the steps to collect and analyze data, coordinate stakeholders, conduct community engagement and promote policy reform. This is a screenshot of the action guide. MITOD is broken down into three sections: “how to” “plan Mitod” “mitod tools” section and a new section of MITOD News which we like to be a one stop shop for MITOD news. We also have a strategies and tools sections with case studies on some of the tools.
Example of the outputThe primary Audience for this Action Guide is the local planner seeking to update planning policies in light of new transit station implementation. Though targeted at planning professionals, the guide should also be useful for decision makers, community advocates, and community-based organizations that are looking at mixed-income housing and TOD development in their area.
Interactive tool that measures the affordability of housing based on its location. Database covers over 330 metro regions. This is an example of Washington DC.Yellow representing less than 30 percent housing costs and the blue representing 30 percent or greater housing costs. When you factor in the housing + transportation costs you see the overall household costs increase, with a greater number of people now paying more than 45 percent on housing + transportation costs. CNT has defined an affordable range for H+T as the combined costs consuming no more than 45% of income
Tool to measure and project transit demand, identify existing and potential TOD markets and their benefits. Contains demographic data: who lives in an area, how much do they make, and where do they work?. You can search by Transit Zone. Transit Shed or Transit Region. To determine if a neighborhood is affordable they draw from the H+T Index. We’ve used this tool on plans in Baltimore and Los Angeles. Planners, developers, transit advocates, non-profits, researchers etc. Use it when working on Consolitdated Land Use Plans, Priority development areas, potential station characteristics, transporation plans. CTOD working on updating it to include information on LIHTC datasets and a few other datasets for incorporating more affordable housing into the database. And should include data on mortgage info. Funded by the FTA
SSC2011_Sasha Forbes PPT
Policies for Affordable Housing<br />Sasha Forbes<br />Policy Associate<br />Solutions for Sustainable Communities: 2011 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy<br />September 26, 2011<br />