Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) joined Representative Scott Peters (CA-52) as an original cosponsor in introducing an updated version of H.R.2483, the bipartisan Build More Housing Near Transit Act, to encourage the construction of low and middle-income housing in transit-served, walkable locations. The bill, which reflects language included in last year’s H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, would provide incentives for transit applicants who meet requirements related to building more housing along the future transit corridor.
It covers projects submitted under the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts and Core Capacity programs, which fund projects like commuter rail, light rail, and bus rapid transit through the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program. This bill is cosponsored by Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-At-Large), David Scott (GA-13), Ami Bera (CA-07), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), and Tom Suozzi (NY-03). The bill boasts support from over 110 organizations. (Please find the bill text at this link.)
“The Puget Sound region is one of the fastest growing places in the US, and the South Sound is growing even faster. But with this growth comes challenges we must address, including housing insecurity and the additional strain the pandemic has put on workers and families,” said Congresswoman Strickland. “That’s why I’m so proud to join Congressman Peters in introducing the bipartisan Build More Housing Near Transit Act to make smart, effective, and green housing infrastructure investments to help families and workers without delay. Affordable housing is infrastructure, and this kind of investment is crucial to putting the South Sound on the path to recover and rebuild equitably for a brighter future.”
“San Diego is one of many communities across the country facing a housing crisis. People struggle to find affordable housing and are often forced to live in areas that are far from work without access to public transit,” said Congressman Peters. “Our bill will maximize federal investment in transit and increase housing options for cost-burdened Americans. On top of that, it boosts our efforts to protect the environment by growing transit ridership and getting more cars off the road.”
“The Build More Housing Near Transit Act will help America build back better,” said Up for Growth Action Executive Director Mike Kingsella. “The Build More Housing Near Transit Act encourages localities to align land-use policies and affordable housing resources with federal transit investment, ensuring that transit-rich communities are accessible to more Americans. We applaud Representative Peters, Representative McMorris Rodgers, and bill co-sponsors for their continued leadership to advance smart and sensible federal housing and transit policy.”
“The nation’s housing crisis is also a crisis of economic opportunity and mobility. Effective planning that coordinates transit, housing, jobs, and land use is vital to tackling the challenge of housing affordability and availability. It ensures that our infrastructure investments provide the broadest and highest benefit. The Build More Housing Near Transit Act will promote federal transit infrastructure investments that increase mobility options and access to opportunity. The American Planning Association is proud to support this legislation as an important tool for the recovery and reinvention of our communities,” said Leo R. Asuncion, AICP, President of the American Planning Association.
“The Build More Housing Near Transit Act will make it easier to build the places people love,” said Congress for the New Urbanism President and CEO Lynn Richards. “Aligning federal transit investments with affordable and market-rate housing development will create the livable and sustainable communities desired by – but often inaccessible to – many Americans. We thank bill sponsors for developing innovative federal policy that will improve quality of life for people across the country.”
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the United States has a shortage of 7 million affordable homes, and 10.4 million Americans spend more than half of their income on housing. In Washington, there is a shortage of nearly 160,000 homes for extremely low-income renters. In part due to a lack of available and affordable housing, 487,000 renters in Washington are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent.
The Build More Housing Near Transit Act of 2021 aims to facilitate the construction of more housing, increase transit ridership, and maximize federal investments. The bill will also help slow climate change, as research shows that building housing near transit lines has vast potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.