I've spent some time on this page introducing the
idea of livable communities. We know that housing and transportation are
tightly bound up with one another. Our transportation investment
decisions don't occur in a vacuum; they must be consistent with our
I want to pursue this idea a bit more here and describe for you what the HUD-DOT task force will do. I hope you can see how this will increase the quality of life for all Americans.
To begin, here are our four goals:
- More choices for affordable housing near employment opportunities;
- More transportation options, to lower transportation costs, shorten travel times, and improve the environment;
- The ability to combine several errands into one trip through better coordination of transportation and land uses; and
- Safe, livable, healthy communities.
How will we accomplish this? That's a simple question with a complicated answer.
We'll start by integrating the planning process. We'll encourage major metropolitan areas to integrate housing and transportation planning by providing HUD grants to support that integration.
We'll coordinate HUD-required 5-year Consolidated Planning with DOT-required long-range Transportation Plans and 4-year Transportation Improvement Planning.
And, we'll look for ways our two departments can further coordinate location efficiency in housing and transportation choices for states, counties, and municipalities.
On a less concrete level, the task force will
evaluate and recommend measures that indicate livability. After all, if
we don't know livability when we see it, how can we know if we've
helped communities achieve it?
I have a few ideas. For example, I think everyone, urban and rural alike, needs safe and affordable access. Access to work, to medical services, to schools, to shopping, to recreation, and to other essential activities.
We're moving into new territory, and it must be mapped out. We need better tools to track housing and transportation options and expenditures. We need standardized and efficient performance measures. We need to learn from what works.
In the coming months, we'll work closely with Congress and our stakeholders on a new authorization package for surface transportation--the sidewalks, roads, rails, and transit that move you where you want to go, that move your goods where you need them. With your support, we can make livability a centerpiece of this legislation.