More than just transportation

Yesterday I got an email about something I heard about on the radio this morning. The Terwilliger Cost Calculator is part of the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing with the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology report “Beltway Burden: The Combined Cost of Housing and Transportation in the Greater Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area.”(PDF)
I played with the calculator. I had to use the Internet Explorer version despite being in Firefox. I plugged in different areas, Shaw, Riverdale, Arlington, and the far reaches of Alexandria. Except for Arlington where the income was higher, most other places had the transportation/housing costs to income around 50% or higher.
Yet in past conservations with co-workers, though housing costs are cited as one reason for moving far out, there are other factors at play.
These factors include spouses/partners who don’t work in the metro center, but out in far reaches of Fairfax, Bowie, and Baltimore. They include large dogs, whom the owners believe need a large yard. A desire for a school system you don’t have to think about. And a desire to live in a setting like the one they left back home. Problem is with this area, the house with lot that is average in St. Pete, FL is expensive in Rockville. The other problem is a lot of us aren’t from here and trying to re-create the familiar here is pricey.

One thought on “More than just transportation”

  1. “The other problem is a lot of us aren’t from here and trying to re-create the familiar here is pricey.”

    I think this is a brilliant insight into the culture of the greater DC area. Well, ‘the familiar’ outside of DC is getting much, much cheaper these days. If I can leverage the relative stability of homeownership in DC against the decline of the housing market in another state (not VA or MD), I will do so.


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