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Location Efficiency and Sustainability: the H+T Affordability Index

Original event:

Jen McGraw, Sustainability Strategist, Center for Neighborhood Technology

Housing is traditionally considered affordable if it costs less than 30% of a household’s income. But, this benchmark ignores transportation, which is typically the second-largest expenditure and among a household’s biggest environmental impacts. The Center for Neighborhood Technology’s Housing and Transportation (H+T®) Affordability Index offers an expanded view of affordability that incorporates the variable costs of transportation by place to encourage location efficiency, sustainability, and lower household costs. First released in 2006, it has been expanded and updated to cover 89% of the US population. Users can view combined H+T costs, greenhouse gases, and other key data at the neighborhood level as maps, charts, and statistics for nearly 900 metropolitan and micropolitan areas. The H+T Index guides public policy changes and community sustainability goals and is reshaping housing and development choices in regions across America.

Jen McGraw leads the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s strategy to promote sustainable anti-poverty solutions for communities and manages CNT’s west coast office. In her 15 years at CNT, Jen has worked to promote urban sustainability in the areas of climate change, transportation, energy, stormwater, air pollution, and household cost of living. Jen has conducted GHG research for the Clinton Foundation, Chicago Climate Action Plan, National Academies, Presidential Climate Action Plan, and many communities, and she has advised the development of national and international GHG protocols. Jen has a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and Bachelor’s Degrees from UC Santa Cruz.