Play with the HUD-Brookings Institution’s new index maps here:
The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, developed by CNT and its collaborative partners, the Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD), is an innovative tool that measures the true affordability of housing. Planners, lenders, and most consumers traditionally measure housing affordability as 30 percent or less of income. The Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, in contrast, takes into account not just the cost of housing, but also the intrinsic value of place, as quantified through transportation costs.
I enjoyed playing with the maps to see the interplay of accessibility and affordability. In New York, some very accessible places are not-so affordable, such as many areas of Manhattan. Same goes for upscale parts of Chicago. At the same time, very affordable housing locations in exurbs become less affordable when considering transportation costs.
I plan to spend more time investigating how they produce the index.
[tip of the hat to Peter Gordon]