First, thanks for the support demonstrated by your comments on these pages. And for the respect shown even by those who may not agree with my ideas. I'm encouraged by the response, and I'm encouraged because this Administration is working faithfully toward goals that benefit all Americans.
Today, I was proud to address my former colleagues in the House of Representatives and co-present a DOT-HUD partnership to help American families gain better access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs.
As I told House members, “One of my highest priorities is to help promote more livable communities through sustainable surface transportation programs.” That means roads, rails, and transit. It means safer passage for pedestrians, for bicyclists.
After housing costs, transportation takes the biggest bite out of the typical household budget. That's why a partnership between HUD and DOT can be so effective; we have the ability to ease the largest financial burden on many American families. We're talking about 60% of the average working American family's expenses. HUD Secretary Donovan and I can cut these costs by focusing our departments' efforts on creating affordable, sustainable communities.
As Secretary Donovan told the House members today, “This partnership will help expand every American family’s choices for affordable housing and transportation."
In Secretary Donovan, I have a great partner who gets the relationship between housing and transportation. In his Hill appearance with me today, he captured the need for joint action perfectly: "HUD’s central mission – ensuring that every American has access to decent, affordable housing – can be achieved only in context of the housing, transportation, and energy costs and choices that American families experience each day.”
That's why we've created a high-level inter-agency task force to better coordinate federal transportation and housing investments.
I'll have more information on this task force in another post, but you should know that I am quite comfortable pressing this joint initiative before my former House colleagues; I like an idea that makes sense. This idea makes sense.