Affordable Housing, Community Development

Study Examines Transportation Costs for Rental Subsidy Recipients

Housing Policy Debate

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing is considered “affordable” if it is less than 30 percent of a family’s income. Transportation costs, the second largest family expense, are not included in this affordability formula.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology’s widely accepted index suggests that transportation should not exceed 15 percent of a household’s income. According to new research published in Housing Policy Debate, almost half of the sample receiving HUD rental subsidies spent more than 15 percent of their household income on transportation.

The results suggest that households in areas of the country where it is difficult to travel without a car are the most burdened by transportation costs. Families in walkable cities with public transit options, such as New York and San Francisco, are less burdened by car payments, gas, and insurance.

The authors recommend that HUD provide a transportation allowance or housing subsidy for families in sprawling communities that are more dependent on automobiles to travel.

Click here to read the report. 


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