Updated Housing and Transportation Affordability Index Highlights Prohibitively High Combined Cost of Housing and Transit

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) has released an updated version of its Housing and Transportation Affordability Index (H+T Index), incorporating additional data to estimate the percent of income that households across the country spend on housing and transportation. The aim of the H+T Index is to highlight how urban sprawl affects household costs, particularly in places without accessible, comprehensive public transit systems. CNT finds that 55% of neighborhoods are affordable using the traditional measure of housing affordability, according to which a household should spend no more than 30% of its income on housing. However, when the affordability benchmark is expanded to include both housing and transit costs and the affordability cap raised from 30% to 45%, CNT finds that only 26% of neighborhoods are affordable.

The H+T Index includes a searchable map allowing users to filter by several different metrics, such as transit and housing affordability, number of automobiles per household, greenhouse gas emissions per household, neighborhood density, and transit connectivity. The tool also allows users to view metrics at several geographic levels, including by census tract, census block group, county, and congressional district. The tool incorporates data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics, as well as AllTransit data on transit schedules.

The resource can be found at: https://htaindex.cnt.org/