A proposed federal law would promote transit-oriented development and prioritize funding for jurisdictions that adopt ‘pro-housing policies’ such as eliminating parking minimums and clearing the way for multifamily construction by reducing minimum lot sizes and raising height limits.
As M. Nolan Gray explains in Bloomberg CityLab, the Build More Housing Near Transit Act of 2023 is designed to promote growth and density in areas near light rail and other transit lines by altering scoring measures for the federal New Starts grant program. “Rapid transit depends on dense clusters of housing and jobs near stations to draw in riders. Yet according to research by Ian Carlton, of MapCraft and ECOnorthwest, just over a third of the 412 transit stations funded through New Starts since 2009 were built in areas with half the prevailing regional density — typically around eight dwelling units per acre.”
Tying transit and housing more closely together would bring benefits for both. “With ridership still below pre-pandemic levels in many US cities, such transit-oriented development isn’t just important for housing affordability — it could also lock in many hundreds of thousands of new riders, bailing out cash-strapped transit agencies.”