As the California legislature debates how to spend billions of dollars in cap-and-trade revenue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we now have proof that a powerful climate strategy is to build thousands of affordable homes near public transportation.
Our new report, co-authored by the California Housing Partnership Corporation, is based on an analysis of a massive statewide transportation survey. It shows that lower-income households living within ¼ mile of public transportation drive about half as much and own about half as many cars as higher-income households.
This analysis allowed us to calculate that investing just 10% of cap-and-trade revenues over three years to build 15,000 affordable homes near transit would yield 105,000,000 fewer miles of vehicle travel per year on our roads. Over time this equates to a 1.58 million metric ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s why we need California’s leaders to commit to investing a significant portion of cap-and-trade funds toward affordable homes near transit – as well as public transportation, creating complete streets that are safe for everyone and open space protection.
Our leaders in Sacramento are debating this issue right now. Read recent press coverage in the Oakland Tribune and Los Angeles Times about what decision-makers are saying about this approach to tackling climate and equity simultaneously.