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Live near work in Washington, D.C.

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The City of Washington, D.C., has announced a new program to help local workers live near work or transit, by matching the housing assistance some D.C.-area employers provide to their employees. Through the Live Near Your Work initiative, the District will partner with a handful of employers on this pilot program to achieve several goals, including reducing car trips, boosting homeownership, and increasing walking and biking to work. Not only will employers benefit from their workers living nearby in stable housing situations and with less stressful commutes, but the broader community also will reap the rewards of reduced emissions and traffic.

Building on MPC’s experience helping design and implement dozens of Employer Assisted Housing programs in the Chicago region and around the country, I provided the District with suggestions of potential program requirements, data points to collect, model programs to consider, and outreach strategies to market the new program to area employers. While the pilot program has a modest initial goal of helping 30 to 60 employees buy homes, I hope that by marketing this opportunity broadly and collecting good data – for instance, to quantify miles and dollars saved commuting, and employee retention rates – the District and employers will see the clear benefits of this public-private partnership to support homeownership and walking, biking and taking transit to work.

MPC, along with numerous partners, has recently launched the Commute Options Program, an effort similar to the Live Near Your Work initiative, through which participating Chicago-area employers will select from a range of existing and new incentives to help workers live near work or transit, telecommute, or commute on foot, bike or transit. For more information or to participate in the Commute Options Program, please contact MPC Project Manager Tim Grzesiakowski.

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Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616

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