City officials, home builders and affordable housing developers gathered in northeast Houston this week to celebrate a new model for mixed-income housing.
Earlier this month, Communities In Schools of Houston, a non-profit organization that has served the Houston community for over four decades, received an unprecedented financial gift.
When you move to a city you know nothing about in your late 50s and your job is to make sure your organization has a big impact on making that city better, you desperately need tour guides. I had many when I first arrived in Houston in 2014, but none helped me more than Pat Oxford, a longtime Kinder Institute Advisory Board member, who passed away Feb. 13 at the age of 79.
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.
During the February freeze last year, stories of neighbor helping neighbor were easy to find. Residents with electricity offered up extension cords to charge phones, lent out gas generators to keep heaters going, delivered hot cocoa to keep their spirits up, or simply opened their homes for a few hours or a few days to provide shelter. But what if we didn’t wait until the next disaster to really know and help our neighbors?
A new book, “In Too Deep” tells the story of Bayou Oaks, and its repetitive flooding, from the perspective of 36 mothers who are raising young children there. It follows the families across the course of more than a year, starting right after Hurricane Harvey flooded their homes, and tracking them across the recovery year and beyond as they work to restore their community for the third time in three years.
Journalism is, at its core, a public service — and Houston could use more of it.
Do property taxpayers inside the City of Houston subsidize Harris County services? It’s a question that comes up a lot, given the fact that city residents—like their counterparts in the county—pay separate property taxes to the county, but the county provides many services only to the unincorporated areas.
When COVID-19 struck in early 2020, public health experts in Houston swung into action. But, unlike in other major Texas cities, two different agencies swung into action: the City of Houston Health Department and the Harris County Public Health Department. Although they worked well together in a crisis, the pandemic gave new currency to the question of how public services are delivered in the Houston area.
In 20 years, the population center of Harris County moved 2 miles, taking it from the heart of the historic Heights area and outside the Loop for the first time. It’s yet another sign of the suburban surge underway in the Houston area.
There is a lot to like about accessory dwelling units—garage apartments, in-law cottages, granny flats—as a form of housing. Done well, ADUs can help meet the needs for multigenerational families, workers and students, and they offer a gentler form of infill density in urban neighborhoods. They can also provide a source of income and build wealth for the homeowners who choose to build them. What will it take to spark a “backyard revolution” in Houston?
I just took a trip to Switzerland and southern Germany, and was amazed by what I saw and experienced. As a country goes, Switzerland is relatively old, landlocked, and small. However, despite its reputation for being just about chocolate and skiing, it’s also quite diverse, both socially and economically. Its terrain is wildly varied, combining mountains, valleys, plains and lakes, with historically strong and distinct areas clearly defined in each area. And Switzerland consistently ranks near the highest in terms of overall quality of life.
One of our Community Bridges alumni shares how his experience inspired a data-driven pursuit for environmental justice in Houston.
The urban population centers in Texas are losing their competitive edge in terms of housing costs, and it's becoming more expensive to build houses everywhere. Could 3D-printed housing help cities keep pace with demand and keep costs under control? One of the largest tests of the technology will soon be underway.
Houston has made considerable progress in reducing homelessness in the past decade. We know exactly what it will take to become the first major city to effectively end homelessness—including how many affordable housing units we’ll need to build.