The Effect of State and Federal Housing Policies on Vehicle Miles of Travel (VMT)

A complicated array of state and federal affordable housing policies, incentives and financing programs guide the siting and constructing of hundreds of thousands of new housing units in California every Housing Element Cycle. It is not known how all these programs combine together to influence the siting of affordable housing development in neighborhoods associated with lower vehicle miles traveled (e.g. transit-rich, and amenity accessible). This research is developing and examining affordable housing produced across three of California’s MPOs to answer the following questions: 1) which supply side housing policies are best at locating new affordable housing in neighborhoods associated with lower VMT, 2). How do existing demand side policies, like Section 8 vouchers, perform in enabling residents to afford to live in neighborhoods associated with lower VMT, and 3) how would bringing housing policy in line with SB 375 goals alter the costs of constructing affordable housing and providing vouchers?  The results of analysis will serve as a guide for future reforms to state and federal housing policies aimed at bringing them in line with the goals of SB 375 and other major “smart growth” legislation.


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