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Rep. Heck Cosponsors 'Build More Housing Near Transit Act'

Sep 12, 2019
Press Release
Current system “doesn’t match the demands of a new generation of Americans.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Rep. Denny Heck (WA-10) joined Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) in sponsoring the bipartisan Build More Housing Near Transit Act, a bill that reforms transit-oriented development projects to better support housing development.
The Federal Transit Administration allocates over $2 billion annually to fixed-guideway transit projects, such as light rail, streetcars, and bus transit. Evaluations of funding allocations are not currently required to consider proximity to housing.
The Build More Housing Near Transit Act addresses this by:
  • Requiring Capital Investment Grant (CIG) applicants to evaluate the feasibility of housing development along proposed transit routes;
  • Securing a commitment of local land use policies in project station areas that accommodate feasible affordable and market-rate housing; and
  • Basing assessments on factors such as density, development certainty, market interest, exemption of minimum parking requirements, by-right development, agency ownership of land, and regional growth goals.
“America is short of housing by millions of homes,” said Heck, “but we can’t and won’t solve that problem by having our cities sprawl ever farther outward. It’s bad for commute times, bad for the environment, and it doesn’t match the demands of a new generation of Americans. Instead, the solution must be to build far more housing on mass transit lines, a priority the federal government has ignored for decades. This bill reverses that, and I thank Rep. Peters for his dedication to finding ways to boost transit-oriented development.”
The introduction of the Build More Housing Near Transit Act comes during a month of concentrated focus on housing construction, which will continue next week with Rep. Heck’s introduction of the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act.