Enterprise: Community Developments: Proposed Legislation Aims to Increase Housing Options Near Transit

September 13, 2019

  • Rep. Scott Peters has introduced the bipartisan Build More Housing Near Transit Act, legislation that aims to increase housing options near transit. This measure would amend the current rating criteria for the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program, which funds transit projects, such as commuter rail, light rail and bus rapid transit, through the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program. It would require applicants for federal transportation grants to submit housing feasibility assessments to determine how and where housing units could be built near new transit stops. The bill would also prioritize a commitment to change local land use policies to accommodate affordable or market-rate housing near the transit projects. The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5), Denny Heck (D-WA-10), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ-10), Katie Hill (D-CA-25) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8). (Rep. Peters Office, September 12) Read our report on Promoting Opportunity through Equitable Transit-Oriented Development: Navigating Federal Transportation Policy.
  • Last night, 10 presidential candidates participated in the third Democratic primary debate in Houston, Texas. Although the moderators did not ask any questions about the candidates' housing platforms or the nation's housing affordability challenges, several candidates touched on the importance of housing and community development policy as part of any holistic solution to the nation's persisting challenges. Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed policy changes that would make it easier for formerly incarcerated individuals to access federally subsidized housing. Julián Castro, former secretary of HUD and mayor of San Antonio, made a connection between education and housing, explaining that “our schools are segregated because our neighborhoods are segregated. We have to connect the dots: to uplift the quality of life, to invest in housing, to invest in job opportunity.” Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) discussed health and racial equity, emphasizing the link between healthy neighborhoods and healthy children. For full coverage of housing policy in the 2020 presidential election, stay tuned to the Enterprise blog and subscribe to our Capitol Express newsletter.

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Courtesy of Enterprise

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