Nationwide data show transportation costs hurt families, better planning can help
The potential uses of the Index for public officials are many. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, for example, announced in 2010 that it would begin using location efficiency data, as well as the criteria embedded in the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system , to assist its evaluation of grant applications. This allows the agency to assess locations where its housing dollars might be leveraged to produce the most affordability benefit. At the local government level, officials can use the data to assist zoning and investment practices to maximize the benefits for their residents. Lawmakers seeking to provide relief to strapped households – as well as to consider measures to address carbon emissions – can see that, in many locations, transportation remedies are needed as much as, if not more than, housing-cost remedies.