We have worked to increase affordable access to job opportunities and essential services by advancing equitable transit-oriented development financing strategies and exploring the potential of other emerging models. See more from Connect 

The geography of opportunity has expanded from neighborhood to city, to region and beyond. Today, few people work, live and learn in their immediate geographic area. Even when opportunities to get a better job, or further one’s education exist, low-income people often face barriers such as long commute times, high travel costs, and lack of child care.

We believe that expanding affordable access to job opportunities and essential services (education, training, child care, health care and housing) can dramatically improve the economic-well being of low-income people. Thus, the current phase of our Connect work focuses on advancing equitable transit-oriented development financing strategies around the country.

EQUITABLE TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT

Equitable TOD aims to create livable communities near quality transit corridors that allow residents, especially low-income residents, to affordably connect to jobs and essential services.

Living Cities has partnered with the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) to explore the state of equitable TOD efforts in several western regions – the Bay Area, Denver, Los Angeles and Seattle. We have already begun testing financial innovation in this space through our Catalyst Fund investment in the Bay Area Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Fund. Moving forward, we hope to continue using the flexible capital we have through The Catalyst Fund to support the build-out of equitable TOD in other regions.

Resource Document: Filling the Financing Gap for Equitable Transit-Oriented Development
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Resource Document: Executive Summary: Steps to Avoid Stalled Equitable TOD Projects
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We also know that transit is not an end, but rather a means for accessing opportunity and services. As such, we are working to understand other ways in which low-income people access job opportunities and essential services. For example, we are researching the potential of new shared transportation models such as bike-share and car-share to increase access for low-income communities.