Jobs-Housing Fit

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Jobs-Housing Fit

The spatial distribution of jobs and housing, housing cost and income levels, and the robustness of transit networks are key drivers of vehicle based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When workers cannot afford to live near their jobs or accessible and reliable public transit, they are forced to commute in cars. With tailpipe emissions contributing nearly 40 percent of total GHG output, finding ways to correct inequities in intertwined systems of jobs housing and transportation is a fundamental element in equitably reducing vehicle miles travelled and achieving climate change goals.

Although there is a clear recognition that a region’s jobs‐housing fit – the extent to which homes in a community are affordable to the people who work there – is consequential to vehicle based greenhouse gas emissions, tools for evaluating regional or sub‐regional jobs‐housing fit and understanding how the geography of job and housing growth affects greenhouse gas emissions are lacking. A secondary consideration is that policies to improve workers’ earning power so they may afford the housing that is built and policies to help local workers fill the jobs being created close to home are confined to workforce and community development initiatives unconnected to regional GHG reduction efforts. Furthermore, below‐market rate housing development policy and practice is necessarily focused on serving target populations rather than achieving wider GHG reduction goals.

To fill this gap, there is an acute need to develop the methodologies and analyses to capture the interplay of wage levels, housing prices, and transportation costs and their effects on GHG emissions. Along with metrics for measuring and monitoring these systems, the proposed project will identify best practices for integrating labor market, land use, and transportation policies to reduce climate change, while preserving and increasing social and economic equity at the local and regional levels.

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