Pathways to opportunity: Housing, transportation, and social mobility
Two important factors connecting communities to employment, education, and vital services are affordable housing and transportation. While improving proximity and access to jobs alone certainly won’t solve our social mobility challenges, it can ameliorate problems like segregation, concentrated poverty, and low-density sprawl that pose real barriers to economic progress for low-income families.
Both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation are tackling barriers to opportunity head on. HUD recently released an “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) rule, representing a renewed effort to implement the Fair Housing Act’s mandate to address the persistence of racially concentrated poverty in the United States. For its part, the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched the Ladders of Opportunity Transportation Empowerment Pilot in seven U.S. cities, which provides technical assistance to attract public and private resources to game-changing community transportation projects.
On Tuesday, February 23, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings hosted an event to discuss efforts to expand access to opportunity. Brookings Vice President and Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program Amy Liu moderated a conversation between U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. The conversation was followed by a response panel of experts from metropolitan areas across the country who discussed local level impacts.
Art Collins, Managing Partner, theGroup and Trustee, The Brookings Institution
Amy Liu, Vice President and Director, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program; Honorable Julián Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Honorable Anthony Foxx, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation
Left to Right: Robert Puentes, Senior Fellow and Director of Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program; Scot T. Spencer (Baltimore), Associate Director of Community Change Influence, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Co-chair, Opportunity Collaborative; Robin Snyderman (Chicago), Principal, BRicK Partners, LLC and Non-resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program; Frank Lenk (Kansas City), Director of Research Services, Mid-America Regional Council (MARC)