(20 ILCS 25/5)
    Sec. 5. Findings. The General Assembly finds and declares all of the following:
    (1) Affordability is an important factor for establishing and implementing infrastructure investment policies because it helps ensure that all individuals in the State have an opportunity for a high quality of life at a reasonable cost.
    (2) Traditional definitions of affordability include housing costs but not transportation costs, which are the second largest and fastest growing expenditure in a household budget.
    (3) It is beneficial to use definitions, indexes, and policies that link housing and transportation costs to assist in establishing investment plans for housing, transportation, infrastructure, and economic development that more effectively address the significant costs of living in Metropolitan Planning Organization areas.
    (4) The H+T Affordability Index is a tool that was designed to calculate the transportation costs associated with a home's location and to combine that cost with the cost of housing to calculate affordability as a percentage of overall household income.
    (5) An analysis of housing and transportation costs in 54 metro areas nationally demonstrates that reducing the combined cost of housing and transportation to 48% or less of income represents a desirable and achievable goal; the H+T Affordability Index has adopted 48% as the ratio of income to housing and transportation costs.
    (6) The analysis also reveals that affordability is enhanced by locating residential units that have been thoughtfully planned to lessen sprawl in mixed-use, transit-rich communities near shopping, schools, and work, and that residents of communities with low transportation costs benefit from using transit for the mobility required to undertake activities associated with daily life; residents of these types of communities own fewer cars and drive them shorter distances, thereby reducing environmental impacts and lowering their cost of living.
    (7) A housing and transportation affordability standard, such as that recommended by the H+T Affordability Index, is an important consideration in the development of State plans and investments in housing, transportation, economic development, and other public facilities and infrastructure.
(Source: P.A. 96-1255, eff. 1-1-11.)