In a recent study, Ian Carlton and I studied the spatial proximity of all Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) developments to fixed-guideway transit stations in the United States. We looked at several neighbor-hood opportunity indicators to determine not only if transit and affordable housing were being co-located, but also the quality of the neighborhoods in which this was occurring. We also investigated the many barriers to developing affordable housing in high-opportunity, transit-rich neighbor-hoods through three in-depth case studies.
What we found is that little progress has been made over the past two de-cades in delivering new affordable housing options near fixed-guideway transit stations in high-opportunity neighborhoods. Although it appears that transit stations are more likely to be located in neighborhoods with existing affordable units than vice versa, few units are being added to transit neighborhoods after they open. In addition, we found that when LIHTC-funded developments are located near transit stations, they are more likely to be in lower-opportunity neighborhoods. Furthermore, we found evidence that affordable TODs are experiencing more rapid gentrification than other neighborhoods with LIHTC developments. Therefore, although recent Federal policy and local and regional programs are promising, it remains to be seen if they can overcome the significant cost and other obstacles to delivering equitable TODs at scale.