HUD launched a new tool, the Location Affordability Portal, on November 12. Jointly developed by HUD and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the portal provides a comprehensive picture of housing and transportation costs in neighborhoods across the nation. The portal can help consumers, investors, and regional planners understand the impact of transportation on affordability and make more informed decisions.
The portal contains two data tools: the Location Affordability Index (LAI) and My Transportation Cost Calculator (MTCC). LAI gives the percentage and dollar amount of annual income regional typical households spend on the combined cost of housing and transportation in a geographic region, while MTCC offers customized data from the LAI based on users’ household characteristics, including household size, gross annual household income, the number of workers who commute, and tenure.
The LAI takes account of essential neighborhood characteristics such as population density, job and transit access, and commute distance, and considers factors that affect transportation costs including car ownership and annual vehicle miles traveled. Users can obtain housing and transportation costs and related demographics in their region by entering their location data. Users would also specify their tenure as renter, owner, or combined. Additionally, the LAI provides an interactive map for users to navigate.
Apart from housing cost, transportation cost is a major expense for a family, but it is not as easy as housing cost to determine and its effect on affordability is less clear. MTCC would allow users to understand their transportation costs and also compare how much they spend on combined housing and transportation per year with that of the average household with a similar profile in their location.
Apart from these tools, the portal also provides a resources library where users can find press releases, reports, workshop materials, webinars, and other documents related to the issue of housing and transportation costs and affordability.
Access the Location Affordability Portal at: http://1.usa.gov/1ckkwQ4