Utilizing Transit Oriented Development Funds to Finance Affordable Housing Near Transit Corridors
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Market forces will ultimately dictate the costs of housing near transit stations. The overriding policy question then becomes how stakeholders can deliver affordable housing options to low and moderate-income families who need it the most. This paper will argue in Page | 3 favor of equitable development around public transit stations known as Transit Oriented Development. This purpose of this paper is to strongly argue in favor of the establishment of the financing mechanism known as Transit Oriented Development Funds, or ﾓTOD Funds.ﾔ The funds are a path forward as cities and regions seek to address concerns about affordability and equitability, particularly as they relate to transit corridors. Programs in Denver, CO, Seattle, WA, and the Bay Area in Northern California will be evaluated as to their effectiveness. In addition, there will be a focus on what is permissible within the legal framework of the state of Georgia as the City of Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) attempt their own Transit Oriented Development program. Finally, other popular affordable housing programs such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and New Market Tax Credits will be considered and contrasted with TOD Funds. Some of the criteria considered when evaluating a particular city/regionﾒs programs will be based on: 1) Profitability -- Do these areaﾒs programs allow the developers to not only cover costs, but also make money? 2) Regulatory -- Do these programs allow developers enough leeway to make the projects happen? 3) Zoning -- Is the surrounding zoning conducive to the program's success? Is rezoning an option that can occur in an expedited manner? 4) Government Support -- Is local, state, or federal support necessary for the programﾒs success? 5) Legality -- Is the program broad enough to be easily applied to other cities, counties, and states?