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New Report Details Strategy for LA Transit Partnership on Affordable Housing

Joint development by LA Metro can help expand affordable housing near transit

Public Counsel's new report about the future of Los Angeles provides a strategy has a road map for how mass-transit planners can encourage the growth of affordable housing.
"Transit Laws' Impact on Local Joint Development: An Explanation of Real and Perceived Barriers to Affordable Housing" examines a critical strategy for locating affordable housing near transit. Joint development refers to partnership between private and public agencies, often used to achieve mixed-use development near transit.

"Los Angeles is undergoing a transit transformation, and promoting affordable homes near new rail and bus lines will be critical to increasing access to transit ridership for working Angelenos who need it most. Without that commitment to keeping Los Angeles affordable, we're not going to meet our goals for reducing traffic and greenhouse gas emissions."--Public Counsel Staff Attorney Adam Cowing

Though their primary purposes are to provide transit services, transit agencies like the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority often function as land owners and developers of transit-oriented development projects. This paper examines federal transit law provisions governing transportation agencies’ ability to engage in joint development projects that produce affordable housing, finding no significant legal barriers; in fact, joint development is a viable strategy for achieving sustainable, equitable transit-oriented development.
"Transit Law’s Impact" was authored by Public Counsel and the Neighborhood-Based Community Development Corporation Coalition, with the support of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). LISC is dedicated to helping community residents transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity, and provides community development corporations with investment capital, policy support, and technical assistance. The Coalition is made up of five community groups and advocates committed to building a better Los Angeles: Public Counsel, the Coalition for Responsible Community Development, the East LA Community Corporation, Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, and Little Tokyo Service Center CDC.

Click here to download the report from the LISC website (pdf).