It seems like there’s a new headline weekly introducing an updated pledge that cities, states, and corporate entities are making to contribute towards climate reform efforts. It comes as no surprise then, that climate change is also top of mind for households across the country. According to a recent poll from The Atlantic, climate change ranks as one of the most important issues to voters in this year’s 2020 presidential election. It’s becoming increasingly clear that today's generation is eager to see multi-sector efforts extend far beyond environmental friendliness.Beyond municipal and statewide commitments, private sector players are also committing to some bold pledges. Recently, Jeff Bezos of Amazon pledged $10 billion to address climate reform, Nike’s “Move to Zero'' will power all Nike facilities with renewable energy, and Microsoft upped the ante by aiming to become carbon negative by 2030. The direct link between heightened consumer interests in sustainability and purchasing power supports this trend. From fashion to software, we can expect an increasing number of companies from small to large to embed green corporate social responsibility efforts into their blueprints.
The Intersection Between Housing and Environmental Reform in Portland
Increasingly, local public and private sector leaders are also rising to this occasion to express their views and stances on climate concerns as it relates to other social issues. In Portland, Ore., a metropolitan area that Landed serves, the link between the environmental impact of the housing crisis (and housing shortage) is clear.
Portland has a well-known reputation for being an environmentally progressive city –ranked among the top ten greenest cities in the country last year –within a state that’s also leading the way advancing climate protections. In fact, Portland was the first US city to develop a climate action plan in the early ‘90s.).
In a recent interview with the Oregon Business magazine, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek shared that “...people [in and near Portland] can’t afford to live where they work. When employees have to live very far away that’s a very big burden. It increases congestion, increases carbon emissions and decreases livability.”
Other local leaders have also highlighted how housing density doesn’t just impact affordability and access, but also the environment. Just last year, Oregon became the first state to require most cities to allow duplexes on single-family properties. Increasing the number of housing units within a metropolitan area’s core, allows Portlanders to live closer to their jobs, schools, community centers and public transit.
The Environmental and Financial Benefits of Decreasing Commute Times and Increasing Educator Liveability
Landed is on a mission to help essential professionals, starting with educators, build financial security near the communities they serve. By expanding homeownership access to Portland area public school educators via our down payment program, we’re directly supporting the reduction of commute lengths as well as time spent on the road.
Additionally, through increasing efforts that help teachers and school staff live closer to their jobs, public transit options become more viable and there’s a reduction in commute distances– both of which are good for the environment.
Aside from the environmental benefits, there are many financial and wellness benefits. Commuting takes up a lot of time as well as money, money that could be directed towards other financial goals like saving up for a down payment on a home. Shorter, more-reliable, and more-predictable commutes are also associated with a general increased quality of life with a direct correlation to greater economic mobility. As this article in The New York Times illuminates: the longer an average commute in a given county, the worse the chances are for low-income families there to move up the ladder.
Expanding Landed’s Impact in the Portland Metropolitan Area
This month, we’re excited to share that we’ve partnered with the North Clackamas School District (NCSD), to continue to serve more educators that are looking to embark on a homeownership journey in the near future.
If you’re an educator, or have a friend or family member that works in public education in the Portland metro area, please get in touch! We’re excited to share our homebuying education resources and provide consultation to get more educators on the pathway towards homeownership, and continue to do our part to make the community a bit greener.