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Affordable Housing in Transit-Oriented Development: Key Practices Could Enhance Recent Collaboration Efforts between DOT-FTA and HUD.

GAO-09-871 September 9, 2009

The federal government has increasingly focused on linking affordable housing to transit-oriented developments--compact, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods located near transit--through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD Hud (hd), a pre-Qur'anic prophet of Islam. Hud unsuccessfully exhorted his South Arabian people, the Ad, to worship the One God. ) housing programs and the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) transit programs. GAO was asked to review (1) what is known about how transit-oriented developments affect the availability of affordable housing; (2) how local, state, and federal agencies have worked to ensure that affordable housing is available in transit-oriented developments; and (3) the extent to which HUD and FTA have worked together to ensure that transportation and affordable housing objectives are integrated in transit-oriented developments. To address these issues, GAO reviewed relevant literature, conducted site visits, and interviewed agency officials.

Characteristics of transit-oriented developments can increase nearby land and housing values, however determining transit-oriented development's effects on the availability of affordable housing in these developments are complicated by a lack of direct research and data. Specifically, the presence of transit stations, retail, and other desirable amenities such as schools and parks generally increases land and housing values nearby. However, the extent to which land and housing values increase--or in the rare case, decrease--near a transit station depends on a number of characteristics, some of which are commonly found in transit-oriented developments. According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 transit and housing stakeholders Stakeholders

All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government.
 GAO spoke with, higher land and housing values have the potential to limit the availability of affordable housing near transit, but other factors--such as transit routing decisions and local commitment to affordable housing--can also affect availability. Few local, state, and federal programs are targeted to assisting local housing and transit providers develop affordable housing in transit-oriented developments. The few targeted programs that exist primarily focus on financial incentives that state and local agencies provide to developers if affordable housing is included in residential developments in transit-oriented developments. However, GAO found that housing developers who develop affordable housing in transit-oriented developments generally rely on local and state programs and policies that have incentives for developing affordable housing in any location. HUD and FTA programs allow local and state agencies to promote affordable housing near transit, but rarely provide direct incentives to target affordable housing in transit-oriented developments. Since 2005, HUD and FTA, and more recently DOT, have collaborated on three interagency efforts to promote affordable housing in transit-oriented developments including (1) an interagency agreement, (2) a HUD-FTA action plan, and (3) a new DOT-HUD partnership. While these interagency efforts have produced numerous strategies, local housing and transit officials told GAO that these strategies had little impact, in part, because they have yet to be implemented. However, the agencies have not yet developed a comprehensive, integrated plan to implement all efforts, and without such a plan, the agencies risk losing momentum. GAO has previously identified key practices that could enhance and sustain collaboration Working together on a project. See collaborative software.  among federal agencies; when compared to these practices, GAO found that HUD, FTA, and DOT have taken some actions consistent with some of these practices--such as defining a common outcome. However, weaknesses in agency housing data and analytical transportation planning Transportation planning is the field involved with the siting of transportation facilities (generally streets, highways, sidewalks, bike lanes and public transport lines).  methods will limit these agencies' ability to effectively monitor, evaluate, and report results--another key collaboration practice. GAO found that other collaboration practices, such as establishing compatible policies and procedures Policies and Procedures are a set of documents that describe an organization's policies for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill the policies. They are often initiated because of some external requirement, such as environmental compliance or other governmental , could be taken to strengthen

Recommendations

Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: David J. Wise Team: Government Accountability Office The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the United States Congress, and thus an agency in the Legislative Branch of the United States Government. : Physical Infrastructure Phone: (202) 512-5731

Recommendations for Executive Action

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Recommendation: To strengthen formal collaboration efforts, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) that provides financial and technical assistance to local public transit systems. The FTA is one of eleven modal administrations within the DOT. , and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Noun 1. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development - the person who holds the secretaryship of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; "the first Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was Robert C.  should direct the appropriate program offices, to develop and publish an implementation plan for interagency efforts to promote affordable housing in transit-oriented developments, to include the HUD-FTA action plan and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. This plan should include, but not be limited to, a project schedule, resource allocation resource allocation Managed care The constellation of activities and decisions which form the basis for prioritizing health care needs , outreach Outreach is an effort by an organization or group to connect its ideas or practices to the efforts of other organizations, groups, specific audiences or the general public.  measures, and a performance measurement strategy.

Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Status: In process

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Transit Administration

Status: In process

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

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Recommendation: To strengthen formal collaboration efforts, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the appropriate program offices, to develop a plan to ensure that data collected on the various programs of the agencies related to affordable housing and transit are sufficient to measure the agencies' performance toward goals and outcomes established in the HUD-FTA action plan and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Status: In process

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Transit Administration

Status: In process

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

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Recommendation: To strengthen formal collaboration efforts, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development should direct the appropriate program offices, to adopt a formal approach to encourage further collaboration in promoting affordable housing in transit-oriented developments. Such an approach could include establishing and implementing a written agreement to include defining and articulating a common outcome; establishing mutually reinforcing or joint strategies; identifying and addressing needs by leveraging resources; agreeing on agency roles and responsibilities; establishing compatible policies, procedures, and other means to operate across agency boundaries; reinforcing agency accountability for collaborative efforts through agency plans and reports; and reinforcing individual accountability for collaborative efforts through performance management systems.

Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Status: In process

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Transit Administration

Status: In process

Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Categories: Housing, Best practices, Data collection, Federal aid for housing, Federal/state relations, Housing, Housing construction, Housing programs, Income statistics, Interagency relations, Land management, Local governments, Low income housing, Mass transit mass transit, public transportation systems designed to move large numbers of passengers. Types and Advantages


Mass transit refers to municipal or regional public shared transportation, such as buses, streetcars, and ferries, open to all on a
 funding, Regional planning, Rent subsidies, Rental housing, Strategic planning Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. , Urban development programs
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Publication:General Accounting Office Reports & Testimony
Date:Oct 1, 2009
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