Housing

D.C. Housing May be Less Expensive than the Suburbs

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

Dupont Circle

The conventional wisdom is that living in the city is much more expensive than living outside of it.

Taxes, entertainment, and groceries all add up to a slightly higher cost of living in the city. Housing, though, is the expense that tips the scales decidedly in favor of the suburbs. Or does it?

With car payments and car costs at their highest levels ever, transportation costs can rebalance the scales in favor of the city. Unfortunately, most people don’t consider the cost of transportation when deciding where to live.

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New Shared-Space Residential Project Made Possible by Tech, Transit

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[Written by Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

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A new shared-space residential project by Vornado and WeWork, approved in July by the county board, will be Arlington, Virginia’s first micro-unit project, and could be priced affordably.

The Crystal City project will be a temporary revamp of the vacant Crystal Plaza 6 office building at 2221 South Clark Street, which is scheduled to be redeveloped by 2050.

In the interim, real-estate firm Vornado will spend $40 million on the renovation, with a mid-2015 completion date. WeWork, a New York-based coworking office provider, has signed a 20-year lease on the building.

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Transportation Costs Not Considered Enough in Housing Decisions

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab, published on November 25, 2013]

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The 2010 Census shows that the D.C. metropolitan region has the highest median income in the country, at more than $84,000. In fact, a popular Wall Street Journal article recently touted the “New Gilded Age” of the nation’s capital.

So it is perhaps not surprising that no one seems too eager to talk about affordable housing. Mobility Lab hasn’t been so complacent, discussing the issue recently at one of its Lunch at the Lab series of meetups.

First of all, the topic of affordable housing isn’t code for subsidized or low-income housing. The issue of housing affordability is one that impacts a region’s economic viability and competitiveness. It is also an issue that affects vast swaths of the middle-class, not just the poor.

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