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HUD   >   State Information   >   Georgia   >   Stories   >   2014-08-18
Local Affordability Portal Debuts in Atlanta Region

Mr. Josh Geyer, LAP project manager with HUD's Office of Economic Resilience speaks about LAP.

Over 200 local leaders, planner and real estate professionals attended the LAP Forum.

Danielle Arigoni, Acting Deputy Director, HUD' Office of Economic Resilience, provided concluding remarks.

There is more to housing affordability than how much rent or mortgage you pay. Transportation costs are the second-biggest budget item for most families, but to date there hasn't been an easy way for people to fully factor transportation costs into decisions about where to live and work. The Location Affordability Portal (LAP) addresses that issue and its goal is to provide the public with reliable, user-friendly data and resources on combined housing and transportation costs to help consumers, policymakers, and developers make more informed decisions about where to live, work, and invest.

Recently over 200 community leaders, planners and real estate professionals in the Atlanta region gathered together as HUD and local partners conducted the Local Affordability Portal (LAP) 2.0 Forum at the Loudermilk Center to raise awareness about the Location Affordability Portal. The Location Affordability Portal is an innovative initiative of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities which includes the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency working to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money, and reduce pollution.

HUD SE Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. and EPA SE Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney kicked off the day's events which included a regional perspective of the challenges of housing and transportation costs presented by Dr. Catherine Ross, Director, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, Georgia Institute of Technology. Mr. Josh Geyer with HUD's Office of Economic Resilience provided an inner active online demonstration for the attendees on how they could use the portal to determine the cost of housing and transportation relative to their place of employment in Atlanta.

There were two panels that addressed the issues of consumer education and community promotion and strategic investment and leveraging existing assets. Panel members consisted respectively of Mtamanika Youngblood, President Sweet Auburn Works (moderator), Stacey Mollison, President/CEO Empire Board of Realtists, Ennis Antoine, Atlanta Board of Realtors, Nathaniel Smith, Founder/Chief Equity Officer Partnership for Southern Equity, Carrie Harris, President, D&E Power Group and Doug Hooker, Executive Director, Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) (moderator), Keith Parker, General Manager/Chief Executive Office, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), Odetta MacLeish-White, Program Director, Enterprise Community Partners, Lee May, Interim Chief Executive Office Dekalb County and Deborah Scott, Executive Director Georgia STAND-UP.

Danielle Arigoni, Acting Deputy Director, HUD's Office of Economic Resilience, provided concluding remarks and congratulated attendees for their willingness to contribute to productive discussions about the LAP and its future going forward. The LAP features two new cutting-edge tools - the Location Affordability Index and My Transportation Cost Calculator - that illustrate from different perspectives how housing and transportation costs impact affordability. In addition to these decision-support tools, the Portal provides access to supporting resources that offer a wide range of information on current research and practice aimed at understanding, and ultimately reducing, the combined housing and transportation cost burden borne by American families.

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