Competing Interests for Housing Near Rail Lines

June 11, 2013 at 7:46 pm Leave a comment

From a Wall Street Journal article that looks at the competing interests for housing near rail lines:

The trains have lived up to expectations. Property values have risen, stores have opened, and ridership in the area has nearly tripled since the year after the service began. But there also are signs that rising housing costs near rail stops are starting to push out lower-income residents.

Now, Seattle and other cities are trying to find ways to foster affordable housing near train stations. In the past couple of years, several have organized multimillion-dollar funds to provide low-interest loans to developers seeking to buy or build affordable housing near the stops. These cities, having spent billions to build light-rail systems, are loath to see those systems price out the residents who are most likely to use public transportation.

In cities with established rail systems, such as Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, developers mostly have used these new loans to buy apartment complexes near the stops. In other cities with newer, expanding rail systems, such as Seattle and Denver, loans are used more often by developers to buy land on which to build affordable housing. The loan programs typically define affordable housing as rents that can be paid by residents earning anywhere from 30% to 80% of the area’s median income.

If and when rail systems come to the Triad this is something to consider and for our neighbors in Charlotte it’s already becoming a reality.


Entry filed under: Affordable Housing, Housing Trends, North Carolina. Tags: , .

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