Assessing the Environmental, Economic and Social Benefits of Well-Located Workforce Housing

28 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2012

See all articles by William Rohe

William Rohe

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Center for Urban and Regional Studies; University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of City and Regional Planning

Spencer Cowan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Daniel Rodriguez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 23, 2012

Abstract

The jobs-housing imbalance in many metropolitan areas contributes to long work commutes and the related problems of air pollution, traffic congestion, and loss of both discretionary income and time that could be spent in more productive and meaningful ways. This is a particular problem for low- and moderate-income workers who may have to travel long distances from their places of work to find affordable housing. This article presents a methodology for assessing the potential environmental, economic, and social benefits of constructing new affordable housing close to major employment centers and applies that methodology to the Asheville (NC) Metropolitan area. The results show that more than 62% of low- and moderate-income households surveyed either are or may be willing to move closer to work. Moving closer to work would reduce vehicle miles by 71.3%, or 9,000 miles, commuting time by between 159 and 250 hours, and commuting costs of $4,600 per year, per commuter. Commuting distance reductions translate into savings of more than 1.2 kg of NOx, 10.1kg of CO, and 3.5 tons of CO2 per year per household.

Keywords: Environment, Workforce housing

JEL Classification: O18, O21, Q40, R14, R23, R58

Suggested Citation

Rohe, William and Cowan, Spencer and Rodriguez, Daniel, Assessing the Environmental, Economic and Social Benefits of Well-Located Workforce Housing (August 23, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2135239 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2135239

William Rohe (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Center for Urban and Regional Studies ( email )

108 Battle Ln
CB #3410
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3410
United States

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of City and Regional Planning ( email )

New East Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3140
United States

Spencer Cowan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Daniel Rodriguez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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