As housing prices rise, housing affordability is a growing concern for many families, especially for renters. The affordability gap varies by neighborhood, with most inner-city areas far beyond the reach of the median-income renter.
A lot of the rent houses owned by real estate investment trusts — or REITs — are located in unincorporated parts of Harris County and municipal utility districts (MUDs) that have been hit hardest by foreclosures and flooding. Many of them are connected to local and national homebuilders.
The Kinder Institute's 2021 State of Housing in Harris County and Houston report highlights new data showing an increase in occupied housing units in the 100- and 500-year flood plains from 2018 to 2019. In Harris County, for example, about 2,000 homes were newly occupied—by either renters or homeowners—in the flood plains in 2019. Kinder researchers hope to better understand these development patterns, which can leave Houstonians vulnerable to flooding.
COVID-19 killed Black and Brown people at a far higher rate than white or Asian people, and in this year’s State of Housing report, we suggest home overcrowding and labor conditions played a role.
The Kinder Institute’s second annual “State of Housing” report comes as Houston—and much of the country—remains in the midst of a residential real estate bonanza. A yearlong buying spree, fueled by a combination of factors, is driving the country to historically low inventory levels and propelling prices ever higher.