The True Cost of Moving to Cheaper Suburban Housing

Today Streetsblog Network member The City Fix reports on the "cost of place" in the Washington, DC, area — the way that the price of housing and transportation stacks up for people in the urban core and the suburbs. According to a report recently released by the Urban Land Institute,

3184559931_ee0a0d13e1.jpgPhoto by ehpien via Flickr.

Living in the D.C. area is expensive. So, in order to find affordable homes, many median-income families move out to more remote suburbs. But these areas are often under-served by mass transit and far-removed from work centers. Therefore, “efforts to save on housing expenses often lead to higher transportation costs, with the result that an even larger portion of household budgets are consumed by the combined burden of housing and transportation costs.”

Proposed policy solutions to the conundrum include creating more housing and transportation choices; focusing on compact development; getting employers to play their part (by offering telecommuting options, for instance); and maintaining and improving the public transit systems in the region.

If you live in the DC area or plan to move there, the ULI has a nifty cost calculator that will let you figure out the combined costs of your own housing and transportation.

Other interesting posts from around the network: over the next couple of months, Transportation for America is setting up some great "webinars" where you can get your questions about transportation policy answered; The Transport Politic looks at how best to serve the bike/transit commuter; and How We Drive features a PSA from Australia that suggests men who speed in their cars might be… overcompensating, shall we say?

  • One solution for suburbanites who are tired of the long daily commute is to move the office to the suburbs. Remote Office Centers lease individual offices, internet and phone systems to workers from different companies in shared centers located around the city and suburbs.

    ROCs are fairly new, but they can be found in many locations by searching the internet for “Remote Office Centers”.

    Most workers can work remotely as long as they have adequate facilities. Home offices work for some people, but many people feel that they have a higher level of productivity when they work from an office outside the home. Many people will tell you they need an office, they just don’t need it to be 40 miles away from where they live.

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