Despite multiple years of growth, the economy is still leaving some behind.

The Brookings Institution’s Robert Puentes and Joseph Kane describe the problem:

Although the U.S. economy experienced 71 consecutive months of job growth, many people and households are not better off. This is particularly true if you are poor and physically isolated from jobs and good schools. The barriers facing many Americans are multiple, and creating effective pathways to opportunity requires action on a wide range of issues, from early childhood education, to nutrition, to personal finance. But there are few things more central to a person’s well-being than a home of their own and the transportation networks that provide both physical and economic mobility.

Brookings recently brought HUD Secretary Julián Castro and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to discuss the issue. The cabinet members highlighted their initiatives and some local victories. But Puentes and Kane say more needs to be done.

As a result of federal action, opportunities for creative metropolitan actors to “put it all together” in service of multi-dimensional and integrated solutions are starting to proliferate. But this is tough stuff. Despite some clear successes in these regions, we still have a long way to go to make sure housing and transportation policy actively promotes and support economic mobility. The task is for metro leaders to learn from one another and craft their own bottom-up solutions that match their unique challenges.

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