There should be plenty of jobs available in the Greater Houston region this year, but is the area producing enough work-ready people to fill them?
From parks to police to garbage pickup, our surveys have tapped into a surprising level of support for raising revenues to help the city of Houston improve services and raise the quality of life across the city. What should we make of that? Are Houstonians really willing to pay more for better local government?
With John Whitmire taking the helm of the city of Houston, residents made it clear their top priorities for the new mayor are reducing crime, improving infrastructure and alleviating the high cost of housing. For his part, Whitmire addressed most of these issues during his campaign, setting lofty goals for his administration — but now it’s up to him and a new City Council to begin delivering.
A new comprehensive federal report documenting the effects of climate change across the country includes Kinder Institute research to bring attention to Harris County’s vulnerabilities.
A Texas gun control case is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court, which could either clear the way for more regulations or close the door to further restrictions on Second Amendment rights. The decision could take months, but no matter the outcome, our surveys show that most Houstonians would embrace a wide range of policies aimed at bolstering responsible gun ownership and public safety.
Tens of thousands of students in the Houston area change schools during the school year or over the summer, which poses a variety of problems for academic achievement, according to the Kinder Institute’s Houston Education Research Consortium. In some cases, students are not moving schools for academic reasons, but because of housing needs — their families are facing eviction or in search of more affordable rent.
Over 1 in 3 children born around 1980 in the U.S. who grew up in households with incomes near or below the poverty line remained in low-income households when they were in their 30s. This is intergenerational poverty, and it carries profound impacts on the ability of individuals, families and communities to prosper.
Teachers are the most important resource in a school campus, and ensuring students have access to highly qualified teachers is essential. Unfortunately for PK-12 students in Texas, too many teachers have been leaving the profession and too few highly trained and experienced teachers are taking their place. At the same time, some schools have greater access to highly qualified teachers than others, which poses an obstacle to closing achievement gaps.
This year’s State of Housing in Harris County and Houston focuses on renters and renting. A majority of Houston households rent, as does a soon-to-be majority of the county’s households. This means renting and rental policy play an increasingly important role in determining the region’s quality of life.
As economic aftershocks from the COVID-19 pandemic linger, Houstonians have a dimmer view of their prospects, according to the 42nd annual Kinder Houston Area Survey. With inflation and housing costs reaching record highs—and a potential recession on the horizon—optimism among survey respondents was at one of its lowest levels in nearly three decades. More than ever before, Houston residents are also in alignment that more must be done to close income gaps.
The 2022 State of Housing in Harris County and Houston analyzed foreclosures countywide from 2005 to 2020. But what happens to a neighborhood after a foreclosure crisis?
The past two years have been a heady time for real estate, and as we emerge from the pandemic’s fog of uncertainty, the 2022 State of Housing report details an increasingly stressed situation in Harris County and Houston. Median prices now exceed $300,000 and are approaching $350,000, slipping out of reach for residents earning the median household income. Meanwhile, much of the already limited affordable rental housing stock is becoming increasingly vulnerable.
If you built a political platform based on what most Houstonians would agree with, what would it look like? We have one version of a “Houston agenda”, thanks to the 2022 Kinder Houston Area Survey. While divisions persist, big shares of Houstonians across party lines agree on several big issues.
Houstonians are looking slightly less optimistic than they normally do, and the economy is their main concern—more than crime, pandemics, traffic, flooding, and other recent plagues. In fact, optimism is at its lowest level in the history of the Kinder Houston Area Survey, driven largely by the rising cost of living. This cloudy outlook also comes with a dose of clarity about the lingering effects of racism and even stronger agreement on the need to support public education.
Increasingly, Houston-area students learning English in public school are taking longer to become proficient, which is holding them back from mastering other subjects and moving forward in their educational journey. In a new report, we identified a few factors that might be contributing to this trend—as well as factors that could lead to better outcomes.