According to the Metropolitan Washington Council on Governments, during the 1990s, job growth on the west side of the region was 20 times higher than on the east side of the region, and the pattern continued in the following decade. Despite some progress in the last decade, many eastern communities continue to fall on the wrong side of the regional divide with slow job growth, poorly performing schools, high crime, and a devastating home foreclosure crisis.
Meanwhile, even in wealthier communities throughout the region many families struggle to keep up with rising housing costs, a situation that is made even worse by the a lack of diversity in housing types and housing built without access to transit or far from jobs. Too many families are finding that long commutes by car are forcing them to spend a large percentage of family income on transportation.
Addressing this challenge is the most important mission of CSG. With our focus integrating the interconnected issues of land use, housing, and transportation, we are uniquely situated to address this divide through changes in infrastructure policies and our work in local communities across the region. Providing more housing options close to jobs in job-rich areas, creating incentives for jobs to be focused at underdeveloped Metro stations on the east side of the region, focusing businesses in transit-accessible locations, and linking affordable housing and transit, are among the key solutions.