The Kinder Institute for Urban Research shares findings from the third State of Housing in Harris County and Houston report.
Leading urbanist Richard Florida discusses the effect COVID-19 and its related economic, fiscal, social and political fallout have had on cities. He also outlines how post-pandemic, cities can rebuild to be more resilient and equitable.
This report provides a geographic analysis of damage caused by Winter Storm Uri and highlights the unmet needs it uncovered. This assessment also analyzed damages from COVID-19 and Hurricane Harvey to better understand how these crises compound on different communities and to identify where recovery efforts might make the biggest impact.
This week marks the first anniversary of an especially grim event in Texas’ history. Winter Storm Uri touched nearly every corner of the state with power outages that affected millions of people and led to at least 246 lives lost. Unofficial counts put the death toll at three times that number.
It is now clear that the pandemic will not be behind us anytime soon. The pandemic variants and skepticism over the vaccine have made the potential for herd immunity (requiring a very high vaccination rate globally) difficult if not impossible to attain. This means that we are probably going to have to live with COVID for the foreseeable future and to adapt continuously to its impacts to our way of life.
The history of the contemporary nail salon industry as an entrepreneurial niche for Vietnamese women can be traced back to complex flows of migration, colonization, and humanitarian efforts. In 1975, following the Fall of Saigon, actress Tippi Hedren was tasked with assisting Vietnamese refugees who had resettled in the U.S. with vocational training, and made a trip to Camp Hope in Sacramento as part of her role as international relief coordinator. While countless businesses have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, nail salons were placed under especially intense scrutiny as their operations intersected with racialized concerns of public health and safety.
After over a month of incentive programs, outreach efforts, public pressure and mounting fears around the more virulent COVID-19 Delta variant, Harris County has tens of thousands more newly vaccinated people than it did over a month ago. But despite millions spent on incentive programs, uptake is slowing.
Food insecurity has been an increasingly urgent challenge that has afflicted the Houston region, especially during recent crises like Hurricane Harvey, the COVID-19 pandemic, and Winter Storm Uri.
Texas Senate Bill 15 is awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. Originally intended to set in place policy to fully fund virtual schooling for districts around the state, the passage of this bill could have been a proud moment for Texans, a response to the immediate needs of school districts during the pandemic.
The Texas Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on local mask mandates means the state has officially told public schools to start the 2021-2022 school year as if the COVID-19 pandemic never happened. More correctly, as if it was still not happening. Others have already pointed to the health risks posed by not having a mask mandate in place at schools, and schools around the Houston area have already had to close because of outbreaks. But beyond the dangers posed to the health of students, staff, and families, the state’s approach is undermining schools’ ability to accelerate students’ learning and close gaps created and compounded over the past 18 months.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has become increasingly relied upon to help states and local jurisdictions recover and prepare for disasters, particularly hurricanes, floods, fires and more recently, pandemics. Proposed rule changes for the program could reduce future funding allocations, even as disasters seem to become more commonplace.
The jobs recovery is coming along haltingly, and it has been particularly sluggish for the nation’s biggest cities. Even with historic levels of new job openings, it might take longer for cities to adapt to the new dynamics of the post-2020 (we won't call it post-pandemic) economy.
The Delta variant has led to COVID-19’s fourth wave—a surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. More than any other factor, what's driving this is the number of unvaccinated people—who either by choice or by design are not getting shots. Because vaccine hesitancy and access varies across states and cities, local solutions might be key to closing the gap.
The new CDC moratorium on evictions will expire on Oct. 3, but renters who are in jeopardy of losing their homes — and landlords who are owed money — can still apply for federally funded assistance.
What for some may be an anticipated return to “normal” is for others an anxiety-filled readjustment to pre-pandemic life. No matter which category you place yourself, there are some aspects of normalcy we’d all prefer to leave in 2019. Chief among them is the daily struggle to get where we need or want to go. Unfortunately, it’s not certain how long we have before traffic in Houston returns and exceeds levels we saw a couple of years ago.