Urban Habitat and NPH Unveil “Moving Silicon Valley Forward”
Case Study Says Housing and Transit Inequities Add to Regional Problems; Offers Answers
OAKLAND, CA -- Long-distance commuting isn’t healthy for workers or the environment. That's one of the conclusions by Urban Habitat and the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California in their new study, "Moving Silicon Valley Forward." The study, which focuses on the costs of inequitable development in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, also offers insight and policy recommendations for Silicon Valley jurisdictions.
“Moving Silicon Valley Forward” asserts that the lack of affordable housing and reliable local transit in the Bay Area region, especially in Silicon Valley, is both an economic and environmental issue. Research conducted over several years outlines the impact on low-income workers when they are forced to commute long distances by auto because they cannot afford to live near their jobs and because reliable transit alternatives are not available.
The report shows how the mismatch in the supply of affordable housing and the number of growing Silicon Valley jobs forces people to commute long distances, and thus contributes to already-congested roadways. It also finds that more than 67 percent of Silicon Valley’s projected job growth, and its largest workforce, is not in high-paying technology sectors but in jobs paying less than $50,000 annually.
This workforce includes retail clerks, restaurant workers, health care aides, and security guards who are essential to the region’s vitality. Yet, existing infrastructure for housing and transportation does not meet the needs of these workers.
"Moving Silicon Valley Forward" suggests specific solutions to these problems, such as building more affordable homes near job centers and transit, creating Bus Rapid Transit systems that use dedicated lanes to cut through traffic, and offering rider incentives, such as the Valley Transportation Authority Eco Passes.
Read the full case study here: http://nonprofithousing.org/pdf_pubs/MovingSiliconValleyForward.pdf