Can Affordable Housing in Transit-Oriented Development Help Solve California’s Housing Crisis while also Addressing Environmental Goals?

There is growing interest in California to locate affordable housing in transitoriented development (TOD). This approach is offered as a solution to providing desperately needed affordable housing while also supporting the state’s interest to grow more compactly and reduce the amount of vehicle miles traveled. Other reasons offered for this approach include providing low-income residents increased access to job opportunities, lowering overall household transportation costs, and mitigating potential gentrification and displacement affects associated with TOD projects. While producing additional affordable units is vitally important unto itself, the assumptions regarding environmental sustainability benefits that underlie the linkage of affordable housing and TODs are not as straightforward as one would hope.

This policy brief examines findings of a study on driving impacts and policy approaches for affordable housing in TODs.