Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Houston as an affordability model for other cities

Affordable housing has become a hot topic in Houston, so this might be a good time to share this excellent piece in Market Urbanism: Houston as an affordability model (Planetizen coverage). It does a great job framing Houston vs. other major metros. Key excerpts with my highlights:

"When market-oriented housing researchers point to Houston’s relatively light-touch land use regulations as a model for other U.S. localities to learn from, its declining affordability may cause skepticism. Houston, however, has fared better than many other cities in housing affordability for both renters and homebuyers.

While Houston is the only major U.S. city without use zoning, it does have land use regulations that appear in zoning ordinances elsewhere, including minimum lot size, setback, and parking requirements. These rules drive up the minimum cost of building housing in Houston. However, Houston has been a nationwide leader in reforming these exclusionary rules over the past 25 years. Houston policymakers have enacted rule changes to enable small-lot development and, in parts of the city, they have eliminated parking requirements. In part as a result, Houston’s affordability is impressive compared to peer regions....

At the least-well-off end of the income spectrum, Houston has the lowest rate of homelessness among major U.S. cities, due in part to its relative abundance of housing and in part to well-administered public and nonprofit services for formerly homeless residents.

"Houston has the lowest share of cost-burdened renter households among comparable Sun Belt markets for households earning 81% to 100% of the area median income."

"Houston's homeownership is also more attainable to residents earning the region's median income compared to the same group of Sun Belt metros shown in the chart."

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At 7:45 PM, February 21, 2024, Blogger George Rogers said...

Vouchers only work with affordable market rate housing. Otherwise there is no way to justify it for landlords.


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