Calgary Housing Choice and Affordability Ignores Car Dependency

Research by University of Calgary professor Dr. Noel Keough shows the surprising impact that transportation choice has on the affordability of home rental and purchase. The report entitled: Action Research on Transportation Housing Affordability, funded by the Calgary Mortgage and Housing Corporation, details how for different income levels and communities in Calgary, car ownership costs impact affordability.

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At an average of $9,000 per year to operate a private vehicle, Dr. Keough calculated the deep impact this has on housing affordability, in some cases, increasing the available choice of affordable homes for moderate income households by over 1000%. “This research shows that as Calgarians move away from their dependence on private vehicle ownership they’re realizing great benefits in the homes that become affordable”, says Keough.

The findings also underscore what makes housing affordable in a city where many housing options which are less expensive are also distant from the core and public transportation, moving cost from one type of expense the another.

The report also counters some Calgary developers’ argument that greenfield developments provide more affordable housing for Calgarians.

“I shouldn’t be putting my post-tax dollars into possibly the worst investment a person can make, a vehicle, when I can invest that money into my home for the future? I know that housing cost is related to what it costs to get around and I value my income and my time too much to always depend on a car.” commented Gerald Wheatley.

For the full report click here


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