About this Award Winning Research
This research focuses on lower-income households that can’t afford to live in transit-oriented communities.
The Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing (TOAH) Study is the first regional study to analyze the spatial relationship between affordable rental housing and transit.
The study provides important information on the challenges and opportunities of developing affordable rental housing close to transit. This research is useful to:
- land use, housing and transportation planners
- non‐profit and market developers
- investors and policymakers from all levels of government
The Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Study builds on Metro Vancouver’s Housing and Transportation Cost Burden Study .
|Phase 1||Phase 2||Phase 3|
The first phase of the study was completed in November 2017. It examined:
Phase 2 focused on solutions was completed in 2019. It included examining:
Planning has started for Phase 3 of the Study. Phase 3 will look at:
✔Housing and transportation are the highest expenses for most households.
✔Emerging and future rapid transit corridors should have the capacity for affordable rental housing.
✔Costs of housing and transportation can be up to 2/3 of lower income renters’ pre‐tax household income.
✔New opportunities and partnerships are available when housing and transportation are studied together. (Involve a diversity of stakeholders with experience in land use, housing and transit planning, land trust development, and other relevant areas.)
Learn more about the study by searching ‘TOAH’ at www.metrovancouver.org
What was the research methodology?
Phase 1 quantified financial barriers to building new affordable rental housing. The project team calculated household projections using:
- The Regional Affordable Housing Strategy
- Indicators in Metro Vancouver’s Housing Data Book
- 2011 Census data
Phase 2 of this research developed a framework for a regional revolving loan fund developed by:
- ECONorthwest, a Portland‐based urban land economics firm
- Enterprise Community Partners, an organization that designs revolving loan funds
- CitySpaces, a Vancouver‐based planning firm
- Coriolis, a Vancouver‐based urban land economics firm that evaluates policy approaches to address land cost.
Metro Vancouver staff provided regular updates on the team’s work to municipal planners and the Metro Vancouver Regional District board. An expert roundtable was created in November, 2018 to engage 40 practitioners with experience in regional revolving funds.
How will this research help?
- The study will be a guide to regional planning
The TOAH Study learnings are being using in two regional planning projects:
- TransLink’s Transport 2050 regional transportation strategy, with expected completion in 2020
- Metro Vancouver’s Metro 2050 regional growth strategy update, with expected completion in 2022
- It will contribute to policy
- The TOAH Study is influencing supportive policy agreements that TransLink is establishing with municipalities as part of rapid transit projects.
- The study will advance a regional revolving transit-oriented affordable housing fund
- BCNPHA, Vancity Credit Union and the Vancity Community Foundation are co‐leading an exploratory design phase for a regional revolving transit‐oriented affordable housing fund from December 2019 to the first half of 2020. The team will use the TOAH Study findings.
Planning has started for Phase 3 of the Study. It focuses on capacity building and combines the findings from Phases 1, 2 and other relevant resources. The team will share these findings with housing and transportation practitioners, decision‐makers and other interested stakeholders. Phase 3 will look at:
- an online rental housing calculator learning tool
- a structured classroom learning module
- online video tutorials
- a regional summit
This research is relevant to large urban municipalities with planned or emerging rapid transit corridors. It is applicable to those with high or rapidly increasing land values and a limited supply affordable rental housing.
Medium and smaller communities can benefit from its learnings by considering the relationship between transit and housing in planning. The study highlights the importance of ensuring the housing needs of lower-income households – those who rely on public transit the most – are met.
Municipalities interested in creating a revolving loan fund, especially a regional revolving transit-oriented affordable housing fund, would benefit from Metro Vancouver’s experience.
Project Team: James Stiver
Award Received: Gold Roof Award for Housing Research Excellence
Location: Metro Vancouver Region
Project Collaborators / Partners:
Metro Vancouver Regional District, BC Housing, BC Non‐Profit Housing Association, CMHC, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, TransLink, Urban Development Institute, Vancity Credit Union
For more information
Apply in March for a 2020 award and tell your own story.