05/15/2014 Report Proves Climate Change-Fighting Power of Building Affordable Homes Near Transit

For Immediate Release: May 15th, 2014


Stuart Cohen, TransForm, (510) 543-7419 (cell), [email protected]
Matt Schwartz, California Housing Partnership, (415) 203-7158 (cell), [email protected]

Report Proves Climate Change-Fighting Power of Building Affordable Homes Near Transit

Investment of Cap-and-Trade Funds Would Yield Reduction of More Than 100 Million Miles of Driving Annually 

MAY 15, 2014 | As the California legislature debates how to spend cap-and-trade revenues, a new report shows the greenhouse gas reduction power of building affordable homes near public transportation.
The report is based on a robust new analysis conducted by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a leading national research organization, using data just made available by the California Department of Transportation.  
Released by the nonprofits TransForm and the California Housing Partnership Corporation, the report, Why Creating and Preserving Homes Near Transit is a Highly Effective Climate Protection Strategy, reveals that: 
  • Lower-income households in California within ¼ mile of frequent public transportation drive nearly 50% less than those living in areas without good transit.
  • Lower-income households that live near transit drive significantly less than households at higher incomes that live the same distance from transit.
This means that if the state invests in creating and preserving significant amounts of affordable homes near public transportation, California will achieve tremendous greenhouse gas benefits.  Using conservative assumptions, investing just 10% of cap-and-trade revenue in California’s Transit-Oriented Development Housing Program for the next three years would result in15,000 affordable homes that would yield 105,000,000 fewer miles of vehicle travel per year on our roads.  That equates to 1.58 million metric  tons of greenhouse gas pollution, and cleaner air for all.
Both the California Air Resource Board and California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg have proposed dedicating cap-and-trade funds for affordable homes near public transportation. The new report is the first to quantify what GHG reductions could result from such an investment, and provides a framework for maximizing those benefits.
“This report gives our leaders the robust evidence they need to tackle climate change in ways that keep California affordable and connect people of all incomes to opportunity,” said Stuart Cohen, executive director of TransForm. “California can be a leader in both solving our climate crisis and creating healthy communities for all.”
“This report makes clear the importance of ensuring that lower-income Californians are part of the solution to our climate change challenge and not just pushed out of our state’s transit rich areas as they are developed,” said Matt Schwartz, president of the California Housing Partnership Corporation. “Affordable homes near transit must be a priority in the state investment strategy, not an afterthought.”
The full report is available for download at www.TransFormCA.org. The report uses data from more than 36,000 household surveys conducted as part of Caltrans’ California Household Travel Survey (CHTS) completed in February 2013. The analysis in the report was conducted by the renowned think-and-do-tank, the Center for Neighborhood Technology (www.cnt.org).  Support for the research was provided by the Ford Foundation.
TransForm is California’s leading transportation advocate and an award-winning nonprofit that runs innovative programs and works on policy at the local, regional and state level.  TransForm has offices in Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose.  Learn  more at www.TransFormCA.org
The California Housing Partnership is California’s expert on affordable housing financing, advocacy, and policy. They have office in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Learn more athttp://www.chpc.net/.