A new post up at Rooflines.org on the missing priorities of the new HUD/DOT Sustainable Comunities Initiative:
At a US House of Representatives hearing last week on “Livable Communities, Transit Oriented Development, and Incorporating Green Building Practices into Federal Housing and Transportation,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced an new partnership. A joint task force, the “Sustainable Communities Initiative,” will address the intersection of transportation and housing affordability.
While any genuine effort to address housing affordability is welcome, this new HUD/DOT task force is particularly exciting because it reflects a new understanding of the complex issues that confront metropolitan regions and the sometimes surprising ways they intersect. Encouraging smarter planning, expanding the definition of affordability, and researching the livability of communities work in tandem to increase the use of public transportation, decrease our carbon footprint, reduce urban sprawl, enable the smarter use of regional resources, and improve affordable housing options for families. In short, this is one of those rare initiatives that seem to naturally align a multitude of interests.