Join us on Thursday, June 16 for a webinar that will highlight innovative affordable transit-oriented development initiatives across the country, including Austin, Texas and Fairfax County, Virginia – two jurisdictions that have put long-term affordable homeownership mechanisms into place to create and sustain equitable transit-oriented communities. You will hear from a national housing and transportation policy expert, as well as affordable housing practitioners and advocates from the two jurisdictions as they discuss the partnerships, policies and strategies that made long-term affordability near transit possible in their communities.
For more information and to register, go to the main post for this event here in the Shared Equity Homeownership discussion group.
This webinar recognizes that high-quality transit can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can increase accessibility to jobs, shopping, schools and recreation for folks who don't have cars. On the other hand, the attractiveness of high-quality transit inflates land values and this can displace the low-income residents for who are transit-dependant.
Several Pennsylvania cities have employed a technique for incentivizing the development of high-value urban land while simultaneously keeping land prices and building rents in check. They have accomplished this by reducing the property tax rate applied to building values (thereby making buildings cheaper to build, improve and maintain). Simultaneously, they have increased the property tax rate applied to land values. (Land values are created by public infrastructure -- such as transit.) Taxing land values thus "recaptures" publicly-created values for public purposes - such as infrastructure maintenance and affordable housing. Interestingly, taxing land values at a higher rate tends to keep land prices low. Higher land taxes also make it more difficult for speculators to hoard vacant lots and boarded-up buildings in high-value locations. Thus, without sacrificing revenues, these cities are encouraging downtown development and maintenance while keeping building rents and land prices low.
An article about the role of value capture in maintaining long-term affordability can be found at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments website at: https://www.mwcog.org/uploads/committee-documents/k15fVl1f200804241... More information about this technique and other economic incentives for compact cities and TOD can be found at http://www.justeconomicsllc.com