eTOD Briefs

How History and Culture Impact Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

On Chicago’s far South Side resides the community of Pullman. Declared a U.S National Monument by President Barack Obama in 2012, the historic community was originally created to support the 20,000 employees of the Pullman Company that developed railroad sleeper cars.

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How New Transportation Technology Impacts Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

New transportation technology is flooding cities around the world, including Chicago, with rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft, innovative freight technology such as Amazon Fresh, and other advancements, such as driverless cars and electric scooters. We need to consider how these technologies will impact equitable transit-oriented development.

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Supportive housing and eTOD near the Wilson Red Line

Providing affordable, supportive housing near transit reduces costs and bridges the gap between jobs, services, and opportunities.

Housing and transportation costs are the two most significant expenses in an average household budget. The traditional measure of affordability recommends that housing cost no more than 30% of household income. Under this view, a little over half (55%) of US neighborhoods are considered “affordable”. However, that benchmark fails to take into account transportation costs, which are typically a household’s second-largest expenditure. In Cook County alone, the cost burden of housing and transportation costs consumes 60% of income.

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Reducing parking means increasing affordability in eTOD

CNT and CMAP discuss who pays for required parking and some tools to reduce that cost.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) has long recognized that housing and transportation costs need to be considered in concert. In Cook County, rent burden has increased by a whopping 49% according to the 2014 American Community Survey. The typical cost of owning a car in Cook County is $10,634 a year. These factors contribute to a disproportionate burden on low-income families.

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Segregation and Displacement Can Make eTOD a Challenging Prospect

CNT and LUCHA discuss how the Chicago region’s legacy of segregation continues to affect attitudes toward affordable housing and how online analytics can help drive a dialog to overcome these issues.

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Transportation and Schools in Opportunity Areas

Choosing a Location Near Transit Does Not Require a Sacrifice on School Quality

Few people would argue with these propositions: Quality education for children is good for its own sake and an important factor in determining a child’s life long success. Every child deserves a quality education.

Yet in Cook County, many household have the mistaken perception that they must give up access to transit in a tradeoff with school quality. What they require is quality information to make reasoned decision, and the eTOD calculator can help.

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Data and Analysis Overcome Barriers to eTOD

CNT’s eTOD Social Impact Calculator has helped developers and advocates across Cook County advance affordable housing near transit.

When CNT first set out to design the Calculator, we interviewed a dozen community development corporations (CDCs) and community development housing organizations (CDHOs) on the challenges of adding more affordable units near transit in Cook County.

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Communities Can Advance Fair Housing through eTOD

Communities looking to advance shared opportunity and affirmatively further fair housing can do so through equitable transit-oriented development. Transportation options, such as access to transit and infrastructure for walking and biking, open avenues to prosperity. When these options are crystalized in equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) communities, they can increase connections to jobs, reduce reliance on cars for every commute and errand, and substantially lower the cost of living associated with owning and operating automobiles.

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When Siting Affordable Housing, Transit Quality Matters

When it comes to the location of affordable housing, transit quality and access to jobs matter. Equitable transit-oriented development doesn’t just give lower income households more opportunities for a place to live. It also expands their choices for employment opportunities and transportation options for their commute. When residents live near hubs for high frequency rail and bus service, they can make easier crosstown trips to multiple industrial and retail corridors, where many jobs have lower barriers to entry and may require an Associate’s Degree or less. And when those routes run more frequently at off-peak times, workers at these jobs can better utilize transit to get to positions with second or third shifts. Higher quality transit opens up additional economic opportunities.

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Chicago Should Add More CHA Units Near Transit

It would deliver huge returns for household budgets, economic opportunity, and the environment

How can the City of Chicago add and preserve more affordable housing near transit? There’s one resource that Chicago should utilize more frequently: the Chicago Housing Authority.

Last year, CNT noted that the CHA Plan for Transformation set our city – and our region – behind in adding and preserving affordable housing near transit. Between 2000 and 2010, the CHA decommissioned and demolished more than 6,000 occupied housing units located near the CTA and Metra train systems. These units were concentrated in buildings neither safe nor decent, but they also have not been replaced at sites with easy access of transit.

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Technical Assistance Available for your eTOD Project

CNT’s Social Impact Calculator Can Guide Predevelopment For Affordable Housing Near Transit

CNT announces available technical assistance in helping community organizations and developers in Cook County support equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD). When neighborhoods add eTOD, households have greater choice for a place to live, a place to work, and a variety of transportation options connecting the two. eTOD helps lower income residents save money on transportation, it grows neighborhood economies, and it makes room for neighbors of all backgrounds. But as TOD has gained steam this real estate cycle, only a few developments have added units that serve all incomes and backgrounds.

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