The Cost and Affordability Paradox of Transit-Oriented Development: A Comparison of Housing and Transportation Costs Across Transit-Oriented Development, Hybrid and Transit-Adjacent Development Station Typologies

John L. Renne, Tara Tolford, Shima Hamidi, Reid Ewing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study presents a comparison of housing and transportation costs (H+T) in 4,399 fixed-route transit station areas across the United States. Each station area is classified as a transit-oriented development (TOD), hybrid, or transit-adjacent development (TAD) based on walkability and housing density targets. Station areas with a Walk Score of 70 or greater and a gross housing density of 8 units per acre or more are classified as TOD. Station areas that meet just one of these criteria are classified as hybrids, and those that do not meet either of these criteria are categorized as TAD. The findings reveal a paradox that whereas TOD are more expensive places to buy and rent housing, they are more affordable than hybrids and TAD because the lower cost of transportation offsets housing costs. We argue that policies to increase the density and walkability of hybrid and TAD station areas, which account for two thirds of all station areas across the United States, should be a top priority for both housing and transportation officials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-834
Number of pages16
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Volume26
Issue number4-5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • affordability
  • development
  • Housing cost
  • location
  • TOD
  • transit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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