An American household’s two biggest expenses are housing and transportation, yet transportation costs tend to be discounted when people are making decisions about where to live. As a result, transportation is often referred to as the “hidden cost” of housing.

To that end, the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, in 2013, launched the Location Affordability Portal, which not only aggregates your total housing and transportation costs, but also creates an anonymous costs database for researchers and planners, who can now work to help improve transportation access for potentially millions of Americans.

With the new paradigm of considering housing and transportation costs together, the general rule is that the combined total should be no more than 45 percent of a household’s income. 

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