Strategy-of-the-Month: Tools for Mixed-Income Transit-Oriented Development
Posted Date: June 16, 2009


Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
Strategy-of-the-Month Club
June 2009
Low-income families spend a disproportionate amount of
their income on transportation-related expenses, as they
often trade shorter commutes for the reduced housing
costs found in outlying areas. Creating affordable
housing close to public transit facilities can increase
overall housing affordability (and reduce the cost of
living) for low- and moderate-income families. A report
from the Center for Transit Oriented Development, Tools
 for Mixed-Income TOD, discusses resources and strategies
that local governments can bring to bear when integrating
mixed-income housing within transit-oriented developments
To promote a range of housing options within TODs, the
report suggests undertaking station area plans: area-
specific land use plans that focus on transit corridors.
For greater flexibility in planning for transit-oriented
development, local governments can create floating or
overlay TOD zoning districts. Communities can also adopt
reduced parking requirements and provide incentives, such
as density bonuses that encourage developers to include
affordable housing units in TOD projects. Strategies such
as public-private partnerships and tax-increment
financing can be used to finance mixed-income transit-
oriented housing development. Creating public-private
partnerships between developers and local governmental
units or transit agencies can lower some of the risks and
costs involved in the development process. In addition,
the report provides examples of TOD best practices from
across the nation, including the following three:
Mission Bay Station Area Plan in San Francisco,
California; expedited permitting in Austin, Texas; and
inclusionary zoning in Montgomery County, Maryland.
For detailed descriptions of tools and best practices
designed to promote mixed-income TOD, please view the
report in its entirety
We hope this information proves useful to you in your
efforts to grow your region's affordable housing stock.
If you have regulatory reform strategies or resources
that you'd like to share, email us at,
call us at 1-800-245-2691 (option 4), or visit our website
Feel free to forward this message to friends and
acquaintances with an interest in reducing housing costs
by creating an environment that's favorable to affordable
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