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Research Projects

STATUS: In Progress YEAR: 2019 TOPIC AREA: Public transit, land use, and urban mobility Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Increasing Access, Mobility, and Shelter Opportunities for Disadvantaged Populations: Affordable Housing in Transit-Oriented Developments

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-19-09
Funding source: Caltrans
Funding amount: $99,968
Contract number: 65A0674 TO 018
Start and end dates: 8/1/2019 to 7/31/2020

Project description 
The focus of this project is to explore policy tools to improve accessibility as well as the mobility of minority and disadvantaged population by increasing the supply of affordable housing around existing and proposed transit stations and corridors in Southern California. The Southern California region has a considerable shortage of all types of housing and a severe shortage of housing that is affordable to low- and moderate-income housing. The mobility of minority and disadvantaged population is restricted, in part, due to a lack of access to affordable housing near public transit. The accessibility and mobility of disadvantaged population can be increased by promoting affordable housing in TODs; however, TODs frequently face regulatory and non-regulatory barriers. Given this, the project aims primarily to identify barriers and challenges to affordable housing as part of TODs to achieve regional land use and mobility goals at the local level. Secondarily, it will address concerns of gentrification and displacement that often drive community opposition to infill projects. In addition, the study will explore partnership opportunities between the public, private, and non-profit sectors, in particular the local community development corporations and housing intermediaries who have created the bulk of affordable housing in Southern California in recent decades. The study also will examine the complexity of institutional responses at the local and regional level and the role of the civil society in achieving desired outcomes. The proposed research design comprises multiple-case studies to investigate regulatory and non-regulatory barriers to housing in transit-oriented developments in low-income and disadvantaged communities with high transit dependency that still have not been able to leverage the transit infrastructure to pursue infill developments. The following questions are examined: 

  • What are the barriers to TODs that include housing for low-income, minority and disadvantaged groups in communities that are served by rail transit? 
  • Assess the flexibility of local land use policies and zoning codes in allowing for the development of affordable, mixed use, and mixed income housing in the TOD context. 
  • What are the institutional options for local governments and their possible responses to pursue infill development in the TOD context? 

In addition, what is the role of regional and state agencies in addressing barriers to infill development? Based on the analysis and findings, we expect to identify effective institutional responses at the local level including appropriate land use policy recommendations to reduce barriers to facilitating affordable housing in TODs with the intent to improve the accessibility and mobility of minority and disadvantaged populations.



Tridib Banerjee
Professor and James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning, Sol Price School of Public Policy
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 301ALos Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
[email protected]