Research Projects

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Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2015 TOPIC AREA: Integrating freight and passenger systems CENTER: METRANS UTC

Developing Affordable Housing Guidelines Near Rail Transit in Los Angeles

Project Summary

Project number: MT-15-13

Funding source: Caltrans

Contract number: 65A0533

Funding amount: $99,983

Performance period: 9/4/2015 to 12/31/2016


Project description

Providing affordable housing and reducing greenhouse gases are common goals in cities worldwide. Transit-oriented development (TOD) can provide an opportunity to make incremental progress on both fronts, by building affordable housing near transit and by providing alternative transport modes such that households reduce driving. While the existing literature has focused on the relationship between TOD and housing and TOD and greenhouse gas emission reduction as separate issues, it has seldom touched on the possibility that TOD could address both goals jointly. We provide evidence to show that focusing on either housing affordability or greenhouse gas emission reduction in isolation can lead to strategies that achieve one goal to the detriment of the other. Using the case of Los Angeles, we develop a scenario planning model that allows simultaneous consideration of housing and transportation goals, and illustrates the tradeoffs of different policy approaches. The results show that larger increases in residential densities combined with a small inclusionary housing requirement yields greater benefits, in terms of both reduced driving and more affordable housing, than would a higher inclusionary percentage with smaller increases in density.


Raphael Bostic
Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 201CLos Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
[email protected]


Marlon Boarnet
Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs; Professor & Director of Graduate Programs in Urban Planning, Sol Price School of Public Policy
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 301CLos Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
[email protected]