Research Question: Are the developments of affordable rental housing in the City of Springfield, Oregon, adequately serviced by Lane Transit District (LTD) bus stops and transportation routes?
What is affordable rental housing?
Affordable rental housing consists of rent regulated apartments in which rent cannot exceed market value and rent payments are calculated based on a resident’s income or local income statistics. Occupants, in order to apply to live in affordable housing, must meet low-income requirements, and there is typically wait time involved before they can move into a new affordable unit due to their high demand and limited supply. Eligible applicants may be required to wait anywhere from 6 to 12 months for a unit to become available, depending on the housing provider and the unit that they would like to rent.
Why is the affordable housing in Springfield important to consider?
Affordable housing is a publicly funded and either publicly or privately provided resource for low-income individuals, families, older adults, and adults with disabilities. To ensure that the needs of these people are met, it is important that the stock of affordable housing provide them with critical amenities, such as access to convenient and reliable public transportation, which allows individuals to commute to work, shop for food, visit family and friends, access necessary services, and travel to many of the places that are important to them.
What were the findings of this study?
Access to public transportation is relatively good for those who reside in Springfield affordable rental housing units. All affordable rental developments are located within a 10 minute walk to a bus stop, and most units are within 3 minutes walking distance or less. With some exceptions, developments are also located within close proximity to bus routes that offer a high frequency of service (for example, the EmX and Route 19). While this may have been the intent of the housing developers, LTD can also be credited with providing and maintaining this public transportation amenity.
The same, however, can not be said for all low-income residents in Springfield. Based on an analysis of maps that display an index (2007-2011) of low income population density, not all low-income residents are located within the same convenient and easily walkable distance to public transportation bus stops and routes.
What are the recommendations of this study?
Based on this analysis of public transportation transportation, affordable housing, population, and income data, a recommendation would be for LTD to expand its frequency of service along routes that are near areas of higher low income population density. A second recommendation would be for developers of affordable housing to use mapping tools such as those developed for this project to help residents identify appropriate housing options and gauge the demand for future housing developments along existing transportation corridors.
Click on the maps below to display an affordable housing development’s Property Name, Total # of Units, population served, and approximate walking time (in minutes) to the closest LTD bus stop.
Relative Size and Location of Affordable Developments
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Walking Time to Nearest Bus Stop
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Data for this project were obtained from:
- The City of Eugene (www.eugene-or.gov/hudconplan)
- Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County (www.hasca.org)
- Lane Transit District (www.ltd.org)
- Mainstream Housing, Inc. (www.mainstreamhousing.org)
- Metropolitan Affordable Housing Corporation (www.metroaffordablehousing.org)
- St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County (www.svdp.us)
- State of Oregon (www.oregon.gov/OHCS/pages/index.aspx)
- US Census Bureau – American Community Survey (www.census.gov)