English learners who have trouble moving on to English-only classes often have issues with low grades and test scores, and are at greater risk of dropping out. New data analysis from the Houston Education Research Consortium shows that, since 2007, there has been a significant increase in the number of Houston-area students who are taking longer than five years to learn English.
A newly released Kinder Institute report examines how different types of housing development impact gentrification patterns in Harris County.
Texas metros are the engines driving the state’s robust economy. To ensure things run smoothly in the future, metropolitan areas need to be at the center of state policy. The collaborative Texas Metropolitan Blueprint provides a plan for continuing and building on the metropolitan progress that benefits the entire state.
With more extreme weather events and disasters in our future, we need to change how our city prepares for these shocks and their long-lasting impacts so that Houstonians will take disaster preparedness more seriously.
In 2020, the City of Houston and regional stakeholders cemented a resilience strategy and a climate action plan, which were adapted to reflect COVID-19’s impact on urban life. The Kinder Institute has gathered information and updates on the progress made in the first year of these efforts in one place.
A major, federally led infrastructure strategy is vital to meeting the nation’s challenges. A new Kinder Institute report shows that to be truly responsive to the needs of America’s cities and regions, a bottom-up consultation process with regional and local leaders and a focus on three priorities will be necessary.
In August, Urban Harvest launched its mobile market to bring healthy and affordable food options to underserved areas with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The nonprofit collaborated with the Kinder Institute’s Houston Community Data Connections to create a data-based decision support tool that helps ensure the mobile market is being dispatched to areas of Houston where residents need it the most.
Differences in course requirements across endorsements appear to provide some students a more direct path to selective four-year colleges and universities than other endorsements. What can school districts in Texas do to help students and families deal with these discrepancies?
To effectively monitor police and investigate cases of alleged misconduct, oversight boards need independence, access to information and evidence, and adequate funding. If given sufficient power and authority, these agencies can hold police departments accountable for officers’ actions and build public trust. A new Kinder Institute report examines the police oversight systems in the state’s five largest cities to see how they compare.
From 1997 to 2016, almost 187,000 football fields of impervious surfaces such as concrete were added in the Houston metro area. A sociologist and an ecologist examined what drove growth during the period, which has had critical implications for humans and the environment.
Researchers at the Kinder Institute estimated the annual cost of evictions to Harris County, where more people are evicted each year than anywhere in the U.S., with the exception of New York. The increasing costs of evictions eat up funding that could go toward improving the county’s public health, transportation, public safety and education infrastructure.
In the past decade, as home prices and rents have increased faster than incomes for many residents of Houston and Harris County, buying a home has become increasingly difficult, according to Kinder Institute research.
By design, Houston is car-dependent. Yet, Kinder Surveys have shown that half of Houstonians want to live where they can walk more and drive less. Recently approved ordinances that promote walkability in neighborhoods should help. Importantly, in certain areas, the new regulations will eliminate and reduce minimum parking requirements, which are considered costly, unfair and inefficient by many experts.
For the average Harris County household, the combined costs of housing and transportation are at the edge of affordability. Add to that the growing distance between home locations and jobs, and the costs quickly can become unsustainable, particularly for lower-income households.
Large Sun Belt cities have similar strengths, such as strong economies and relatively low costs of living. They also face the same problems, like growing income inequality and rising housing costs. A Kinder Institute report concludes that Sun Belt cities need to find new ways to address their common urban issues.