Housing and Commuting Costs

The Boston Regional Challenge – Examining the Costs and Impacts of Housing and Transportation on Area Residents, their Neighborhoods, and the Environment (32 page pdf, Urban Land Institute, April 2010)

Also discussed here: Travel swells cost of housing- Transportation found to offset savings on price (Boston Globe, Apr. 12, 2010)

And here: Abogo: Abode + Go = Beta Web App to Calculate Your Transportation Costs (WorldChanging, Aug. 12, 2010)

This report examines the costs of commuting by private vehicle in Massachusetts and provides another reference to a growing number of studies looking at the cost of sprawl in the US and Canada. Of special note is an onsite calculator that allows individuals to calculate their own costs from the   Housing + Transportation Cost Calculator to the Boston Area.

Key Quotes:

“When it comes to development—housing, transportation, energy efficiency—these things aren’t mutually exclusive; they go hand in hand. And that means making sure that affordable housing exists in close proximity to jobs and transportation. That means encouraging shorter travel times and lower travel costs. It means safer, greener, more livable communities.” (B. Obama, July 2009)

“the typical household in the study area spends upwards of $22,000 annually on housing, which represents roughly 35 percent of the median household income ($68,036). With transportation costs for the typical household reaching nearly $12,000 annually, the combined costs of housing and transportation account for roughly 54 percent of the typical household’s income. “

“highlights the importance of strategies such as building mixed-income housing near public transit and job centers and zoning for a mix of uses to reduce the need to drive long distances to meet basic needs.“

“the transportation sector accounts for 41 percent of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Massachusetts,xv compared to 33 percent nationally”

“High-density residential areas that can support—and are zoned to allow—nearby services, amenities, and employment have been shown to reduce VMT by 25 to 30 percent, on average“

“The ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing is pleased to announce its Housing + Transportation Cost Calculator to the Boston Area to provide consumers with up-to-date cost data to make informed housing decisions based on housing and transportation costs.“


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