Today, City of St. Louis Mayor Slay held a press conference at City Hall to announce new funding for housing developments near MetroLink and MetroBus. The City hopes to encourage development near transit as a means to increase access to jobs. The funding for the Affordable Housing Commission (AHC) of the City of St. Louis commits $1 million dollars to spurring the development of affordable housing near train stations and bus lines. This initiative fulfills an objective in the City’s Sustainability Plan.
Citing that housing and transportation costs account for an American household’s two biggest budget expenses, the Mayor’s office believes that this new funding source will provide the means to better coordinate transit and housing and thus improve the upward mobility of low-income residents in St. Louis.
According to a 2008 study by the National Housing Trust, only 35% of the City’s Federally assisted affordable housing is located within a half-mile of a light rail station or a frequent service bus line (running every 15 minutes or less). This initiative will help address this reality.
It also fulfills the City’s Sustainability Plan Strategies under Objective G: Increase Access to Affordable Housing in Neighborhoods with Access to Transit and Amenities. https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/planning/documents/upload/130219%20STL%20Sustainability%20Plan.pdf
“CMT hopes the City’s goal is mixed-income, mixed use developments with an affordable housing component near transit. We are seeing creative financing including public/private partnerships in other cities as a way to move these developments forward. The inception of a TOD fund in the City is a start to building livable, walkable communities that link transit and housing, and I hope we will continue moving towards right-sized, mixed use developments near transit,” said Kim Cella, Executive Director of CMT.