Transportation costs are the second largest expenditure for a family, thus have a substantial influence on housing affordability. In an auto-oriented region like DFW, the situation is exacerbated for low-income families due to limited transportation options. This study seeks to evaluate the efficiency of major affordable housing programs for low-income people in terms of transportation affordability. This study uses a rigorous methodology that involves a solid transportation cost modeling with disaggregated data available at property level for housing assistance programs in DFW. Our findings show that about 69% of the assisted units in DFW are unaffordable in terms of transportation costs. The majority of them are spending about 17% to 20% of their income on transportation. The most affordable program is Low-Income Housing Tax Credit with 58% affordability rate and the least affordable program is the Continuum of Care with 9% affordability rate when accounting for transportation costs. We also found that almost all affordable units (regarding the transportation costs) are located in main economic hubs of the region such as Dallas and Fort Worth which have better access to jobs and public transit. In contrary, almost all housing properties in the areas between Dallas and Fort Worth are unaffordable. These are areas adjacent to the University of Texas at Arlington with a high number of transit dependent population and in Arlington, the biggest midsize city with no public transit. Our findings urge HUD to consider modifying these programs by incorporating the location-efficiency factors to ensure true affordability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering