Each year, U.S. taxpayers spend billions to subsidize affordable housing for low-income Americans. It’s an important part of the social safety net we’ve built to keep families and the elderly from falling through the cracks. But there’s a problem: A lot of that housing has been built far away from public transit, schools, and jobs. As a result, residents drive long distances, burning gobs of gas -- and huge holes in their wallets -- in the process.
For many residents of affordable housing, transportation and housing costs eat up over half of their income. For a struggling family, this can make healthy food, higher education, and health care seem as far-fetched as President Newt.
Lately, however, there’s been a push to alleviate transportation costs for low-income families. Efforts on the state level show some promise, and officials at the federal level are expressing interest as well.