Leinberger provides thoughts on location efficiency, mortgage foreclosures to The Natural Resources Defense Council

Chris Leinberger, Professor of Practice in Urban Planning at Taubman College, provided comments about “location efficiency” —a measure of the transportation costs in a given area—and mortgage foreclosure rates with experts from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the real estate industry for journalists on January 27, 2010. Participants discussed a new NRDC report titled, “Reducing Foreclosures and Environmental Impacts through Location-Efficient Neighborhood Design,” which indicates “factors such as neighborhood compactness, access to public transit, and rates of vehicle ownership are key to predicting mortgage performance and should be taken more seriously by mortgage underwriters, policymakers, and real estate developers.” The report continues, “With transportation costs accounting for roughly 17 percent of the average American household’s income—and the ongoing foreclosure crisis still garnering much attention—the need for better land use planning and better lending practices has never been more clear.” The panelists also recommended changes to policies and mortgage underwriting procedures, such as giving better borrowing terms for purchasers of location-efficient homes.