Affordable Urbanism: Developing Transit-Oriented, Mixed-Income Housing & Light Industrial Facilities in Atlanta
Cotter, Daniel P.
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The long-term recovery and sustainability of the American economy relies on expanded opportunities, protections, and political accountability to our low- and moderate-income citizens. Strengthened financial regulations, consumer protections, and fair lending practices are only part of the solution. Households in the 25 largest metro regions spend an average of 59% of their budget on housing and transportation costs (Hickey, 2012). Transit-oriented, mixed-income housing can play an important role in lowering the cost burden of low- and moderate-income Americans. However, what is perhaps most critical is that America sees fundamental improvement in unemployment rates, as well as higher-paying opportunities and better job security for the bottom 80% of our workforce. President Obama’s new emphasis on domestic manufacturing is a step in the right direction, and a timely one given the shifting economics of global trade (see Ferreira, 2009; McDermott, 2009; Kozloff, 2012). Developing industrial facilities that are transit-oriented, modern, safe, and neighborhood-friendly will provide America’s most vulnerable families with access to higher-paying jobs and better advancement opportunities than those typical of the service sector. Affordable urbanism locates quality workforce housing and employment opportunities together near transit to create a multiplier effect, helping everyday Americans earn more and spend less.