Kinder Institute, Craig Cohen, 2019 discussed on Houston Matters
Or even said it that Houston is an affordable place to live? Is it, though a new report finds that while for some, it may be affordable. The majority of Houston and Harris County renters were paying more than 30% of their income on rent. Before the pandemic. There is a growing disparity between haves and have nots. When it comes to housing and more people are swept up in the have not category than you might realize to discuss. We're joined now by zoo, Middleton, the Houston and Southeast Texas, co director of Texas Hausers and Luis Guajardo, Urban policy research manager at the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, which published the report. Zero Middleton, Luis Guajardo Good morning. Good morning. It's very electorate. Hi. Good morning. As we chat. We'd like to know what you think. Is Houston still an affordable place to live or not? Do you find that as the years go on, You spend an ever greater percentage of your income on your home, whether you rent or pay a mortgage or have to contend with property taxes and upkeep. When you hear Houstonians talk about it being affordable here, Do you nod in agreement or shake your head in confusion? Let us know. At 713440 88 70 talk at Houston matters dot org or on Twitter at Houston matters. Luis. I heard this repeatedly when I first moved to Houston, more than eight Craig. Well, it's quite apparent that there are two realities pertaining the housing One for owners and one for renters. And so I really think it is about that perspective, but also the fact that we are trending. More and more to order renter Majority City. I mean, we were at 60% of the households in Houston are renter occupied and about 40% are owner occupied. In the county. That number is about 53%. Are owner occupied in 47% are renters, but it's also trending in the direction of the city. And when we talk about this, these two different realities we have to really consider the fact of how this household how our households are made up and home ownership is becoming increasingly harder and harder to access for a number of Um Number of reasons at the national level. But also there are some some local affordability challenges that I think this report does highlight and I think are are are important to consider, Um over half like you said over 51% of our renters paid more than 30% of their income on on housing, and that number has grown since 2000 and 10. Um, And so that's a concern. It's also very I think we have to be very clear that More than 90% of households that are cost burdened earned less than $35,000 a year, which, um Is about 60% of the county's median income. And so it's really concentrated, um at lower income families, and I think that's where where, especially when people are really having trouble finding housing and having a lot of housing and stability. Who were I think it's important to discuss Zoe was Houston, 10 or 20 years ago, much more affordable for renters than it is today. We think the important thing to note is that you can just grown so much, and we haven't has, um, creation or maintenance of of the houses. At the same time, I felt Houston has a reputation of being affordable. Um, but it's not for everyone and it's and it's certainly I believe just played out. And there's certainly great greater need today. Then there was, you know. 10 20 years ago. Um there's just not the new, affordable housing there, or the probably maintained pre existing affordable housing for people in the age that are spending you well over 30% of their incomes. On a rent. Luis is this strictly Houston area phenomenon or could the same be said about a growing rent divide between haves and have nots in most communities across America? Our report looked at mostly exclusively Houston in Harris County, but obviously working in this space it is. It is a phenomenon that is occurring nationwide. Uh, it You know every every metropolitan areas dealing with housing. Um there is no silver bullet to solving this problem, and that's why it is a very common across the country. It is something we have to grapple with. And policymakers have to find solutions in their locales that work within the regulatory system and work with with their current make up of of economic factors, But we do know from this housing and stability and and a lot of work that Zoe has actually been work involved in as well, is that this needs Many Houstonians vulnerable to the threat of eviction. We are a national leader on this topic, one out of every 11 renter households. Had an eviction posted on their door in 2019 and pre pandemic right. And we know also by the work of a lot of local, um, experts in this topic like January Advisors, Texas houses that there were also over 32,000 homes during the pandemic, who had paid an eviction notice on the door. 18 approximately 18,000 of which were removed. Um and so This is this is a problem, And it's one that is affecting folks and have housing disruption creates a lot of ripple effects into sectors like education and health care. Access to transportation and those are things that we just need to be aware of and working toward because it does impact our families and another historians. Those who teach our Children and Work on our front lines and, um, serve our food, etcetera, etcetera. This is Houston matters. I'm Craig Cohen. We're talking about the longstanding notion that Houston is an affordable place to live. It's a phrase we've heard a lot over the years. And if it was true in decades past, a new report from the Kinder Institute for Urban Research reinforces the fact that it's decidedly not for many Houstonians and that that was true before the pandemic. We're talking through it with Luis Guajardo from the Kinder Institute and Zoe Middleton from Texas. Houser's We welcome you to our conversation as well..