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East End is roiled as mixed-income housing plans advance


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2 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I think that zoning played that role of encouraging the car-based lifestyle because people wanted it to, because they wanted a car-based lifestyle and insulated neighborhoods, etc. To the extent that people decide they want a more pedestrian-friendly lifestyle, zoning can be a tool for that as well. It is currently being used as such in many cities, where certain streets and districts are identified as "pedestrian-oriented" or "transit-oriented" and rules are made which encourage this character of neighborhood (e.g. no public storage or other undesirable uses, no chain link fences, no setbacks or curb cuts on signature streets, etc.)

 

 

That's more of a chicken or the egg argument. "What came first: the people's desires for a car based society, or the government's intervention to encourage the same", but it hardly matters: either way, zoning policies solidified that method of development into the American zeitgeist. In the end, any changes made to zoning laws to encourage a pedestrian friendly lifestyle are band-aids on the issue because they aren't changing people's general attitudes regarding said lifestyles, so the general trend of development is still towards the currently predominant archetype of auto-based development. There is also the fact that you are using zoning to try to fix the problems that zoning itself caused. Its a meandering top down approach that is inherently flawed because its the government trying to go in an dictate development on its terms vs. what the market would actually support. Houston has shown that such intervention is unnecessary: its densifying and moving away from car based development through natural transition, without the need for the top down approach, and its happening across the city in areas that can support said development, rather than happening in a piecemeal approach in specially appointed districts.

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I stopped attending CM about 5 or 6 years ago. back when they met at Tranquility park. the idea of CM is a great one. build awareness.   I stopped going for 3 reasons:   1. idiots

It wouldn't bother me if this also put 5,000 units in river oaks.

River Oaks would boycott if one mixed income house popped up.    The amount that this area gets screwed by the city is unimaginable. I've lived all over Houston and i'm in this area now. The

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1 hour ago, Big E said:

 

That's more of a chicken or the egg argument. "What came first: the people's desires for a car based society, or the government's intervention to encourage the same", but it hardly matters: either way, zoning policies solidified that method of development into the American zeitgeist. In the end, any changes made to zoning laws to encourage a pedestrian friendly lifestyle are band-aids on the issue because they aren't changing people's general attitudes regarding said lifestyles, so the general trend of development is still towards the currently predominant archetype of auto-based development. There is also the fact that you are using zoning to try to fix the problems that zoning itself caused. Its a meandering top down approach that is inherently flawed because its the government trying to go in an dictate development on its terms vs. what the market would actually support. Houston has shown that such intervention is unnecessary: its densifying and moving away from car based development through natural transition, without the need for the top down approach, and its happening across the city in areas that can support said development, rather than happening in a piecemeal approach in specially appointed districts.

 

Why would government have intervened to encourage things like isolated neighborhoods if people hadn't already wanted isolated neighborhoods? The process of creating these rules is led by the people affected; there's not some smoke-filled room where sinister government people just decide that there will only be single-family residential in a certain area, etc. Take Memorial Drive in the Villages (where there is zoning), which doesn't have any gas stations or unsightly development - do you think that the people of the Villages wanted it this way, or do you think that evil government planners forced them to have this beautiful road and the residents all wish it could look like Long Point or Richmond or something? It sounds like you have never lived for very long in a place that had zoning, but had your mind made up from listening to Tory Gattis types.

 

As far as using Houston as an example of densification without zoning, I don't think this helps your argument. We've been long deterred on densification because there are so few streets that are actually walkable and aren't compromised by anti-pedestrian development. Think what Main Street downtown could be if it weren't full of parking garages. Look at how emerging walkable streets such as West Gray west of Bagby in Midtown were stymied by anti-pedestrian development that prevented continuation of what Post had created. I mean yes, parts of Houston are slowly densifying because nearly everyone under 40 wants dense development, but the number of walkable streets are way less than Dallas or Austin, even though Houston has a higher population density than either of these cities.

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In 2014 the community tried to push through 240+ affordable homes to help build up the MDI site and surrounding infrastructure. We thought of this as a WIN-WIN-WIN (Developer, Residents, Goverment). The affordable homes would be scattered and would blend in with the newer townhomes being built. There would be a sense of shared community through social income. As Market Rate residents move in and get to know their neighbors they would talk to them and share economic ladders.

 

The govement would re-do some badly needed sewage and drainage near the MDI site (Bringhurst, etc) and frank would use some of this money for roads/power/etc. This was voted on at a Superneighborhood Council Level and approved. This was voted in by the City. But..... it was denied by Harold Dutton. Because Frank didnt pay money to his last campaign. Politics and who is getting paid on the back end of these deals matters more than people actually being helped. 

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/morning_call/2014/02/houstons-fifth-ward-redevelopment-efforts-continue.html?page=all

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17 hours ago, Big E said:

 

Seems like you've already done the actual research into scientific studies. As you said, what research has been done is inconclusive at best, partially because of the massive variance in IZ laws between various jurisdictions and just the lack of consistent data. There have been studies that have show that IZ increase the price of single family housing where it is implemented, while others have argued that that is not the case, but it doesn't actually help the poor all that much (which is actually a common left wing criticism, and in fact, you could argue that its not meant to help the poorest of society, but working middle class people like teachers who otherwise wouldn't be able to live in the areas they work in), though even the study cited in this second article states "effective inclusionary housing programs include incentives that offset the cost to developers," and that "mandatory programs with no offsets can lead to lower overall numbers of units produced", basically stating that the overall success of IZ in a given area is based on government subsidies to the developers to prevent housing costs from going up to pay for the below market rate units. The second article also cites the NHC, which is an organization that is heavily biased towards IZ and represents interests, both corporate and non-profit, that build affordable housing. Overall, research is mixed in this area, and data is woefully incomplete, but these articles are good at places to start in research if one is interested.

 

However one thing that is clear from simple observation is that inclusionary zoning, subsidized housing, "affordable" housing, whatever you want to call it, has done nothing to actually curtail skyrocketing housing prices in the locations its implemented, does not help the poorest in the city (once again, these IZ programs tend to target the working and lower-middle class) and the policy's overall effectiveness has not actually been established or demonstrated conclusively. This must also be taken into account with the fact that the vast majority of the housing stock in any given city will always be existing housing stock, not new housing stock, and in many places, there isn't much new housing stock being built, and IZ based affordable housing will always be a minority of that. Studies have noted that only about 29,000 inclusionary units were created in the whole state of California from 1999 to 2007. The actual rate of IZ would be preposterously low in any given situation just because there wouldn't be enough affordable units built to offset the rising prices and there never could be. Arguing whether or not IZ raises housing costs overall is disingenuous most of the time, the bigger question with regards to IZ is whether or not its a good subsidy program, because its the subsidies that actually determine its effectiveness, and no study has actually weighed the real costs of IZ versus just increasing Section 8 voucher funding, for example. As of now, it hasn't been demonstrated that IZ works in any appreciable form to vastly increase affordable housing and IZ has not made a real dent in the affordability crisis facing America's housing market because it hasn't dealt with the underlying issues causing it.

 

I found studies, but they aren't scientific. they're just observations based on the point of view of the writer. scientific studies require control groups, limited variables, etc. 

 

if you want to live in SF, you have only a few square miles within which to live. if you want to live on the island of manhattan, you also have limited space. even LA. there's an ocean on one side, and hills that are prone to mudslides and firestorms on the other side. Seattle, likewise, constrained. Houston doesn't have geographical limitations like other places. you can drive 20 miles and buy a home in Conroe, New Caney, Rosharon, Richmond, Brookshire. we have no mountains or hills, or ocean, at least not like any of these other places referenced. sure we've got a bay that is surrounded by industrial crap, but there is nothing but land, all you need is someone willing to sell their farm out in the more rural reaches and you have the next master planned community.

 

so we aren't really hampered. yet Houston home prices since 2008 have still gone up by insane amounts. The east end is a great example. I bought my home, fully remodeled in 2009 for 130. other homes that weren't remodeled were going for 50. last year it was appraised (sight unseeen) at 280. sale prices for homes in my neighborhood range from 350 to near 500, and if it isn't remodeled it's probably 150. my neighborhood is not unique in Houston. we don't have IZ, but we are still seeing unhinged costs going up. whatever it is that has caused home prices to go up, from my perspective, it doesn't look like IZ is the reason. and anyway, it's called subsidized housing, whether we pay for it in city debt (and taxes), or directly by having higher home prices because the companies are passing the cost directly to us, rather than it being a 'hidden cost' of taxes. we're still paying. especially if it's not paid for by taxes immediately and there is debt. now we're paying the cost of the housing, plus interest, and maybe that bill doesn't get cashed until later down the road, but all it leads to us paying more at some point (and maybe that price is passed so far it goes to our kids).

 

now, whether it works or not to actually provide low income housing to enough people, that is another question. certainly another question is how people are impacted when you can put 10% of low income people into an affluent neighborhood, vs 100% in one area. do they get and take a chance to climb out of poverty (or do their children get that chance?), certainly when they are surrounded by poverty it is supremely hard to grow out of poverty.

 

and make no mistake about it, I am not advocating zoning, far from it, but in actuality, when you create a low income housing complex, you are creating a poor zone. no I don't want zoning in Houston, but I do see the value in laws like parking minimums and setbacks, and other laws that Houston has in place that dictate how people can build. a low income requirement for apartments would be no different.

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On 5/21/2020 at 9:00 AM, samagon said:

I found studies, but they aren't scientific. they're just observations based on the point of view of the writer. scientific studies require control groups, limited variables, etc. 

 

There have been numerous studies, all probably as "scientific" as you could probably study something like this, but, as I said before, because of the wide variance in how these laws are put into application, along with other variables, the results have been mixed, at least as far as results have shown.

 

On 5/21/2020 at 9:00 AM, samagon said:

if you want to live in SF, you have only a few square miles within which to live. if you want to live on the island of manhattan, you also have limited space. even LA. there's an ocean on one side, and hills that are prone to mudslides and firestorms on the other side. Seattle, likewise, constrained. Houston doesn't have geographical limitations like other places. you can drive 20 miles and buy a home in Conroe, New Caney, Rosharon, Richmond, Brookshire. we have no mountains or hills, or ocean, at least not like any of these other places referenced. sure we've got a bay that is surrounded by industrial crap, but there is nothing but land, all you need is someone willing to sell their farm out in the more rural reaches and you have the next master planned community.

 

Your comparison is apples to oranges, or I should say, inherently skewed. You say that you can live in other areas outside of Houston, up to 20 miles away, and get a home, but that remains true in every other city you also mentioned. If you want to live in the San Francisco Bay area, you don't have to live in SanFran itself. You can live in San Jose, Oakland, San Marino, and dozens of other cities and unincorporated areas. Same with New York: one doesn't have to live in Manhattan, or in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, or even Staten Island. One can live further into Long Island, in New Jersey, or in a New York State suburb north of New York City, like Yonkers, and simply commute into the city, and thousands of people do just that every day. Seattle is the same. In all of these cases, you can live 20 miles outside the city and probably get a cheaper home if you do. Also, all of these cities have geographic limitations, yes even Houston (the area to the east of Houston is forested and swampy, and not really fit for mass development, so it has remained undeveloped, and to the southeast is the Galveston and Trinity Bays, which you overlooked for no real reason; this is why Houston is mainly growing westward).

 

On 5/21/2020 at 9:00 AM, samagon said:

so we aren't really hampered. yet Houston home prices since 2008 have still gone up by insane amounts. The east end is a great example. I bought my home, fully remodeled in 2009 for 130. other homes that weren't remodeled were going for 50. last year it was appraised (sight unseeen) at 280. sale prices for homes in my neighborhood range from 350 to near 500, and if it isn't remodeled it's probably 150. my neighborhood is not unique in Houston. we don't have IZ, but we are still seeing unhinged costs going up. whatever it is that has caused home prices to go up, from my perspective, it doesn't look like IZ is the reason. and anyway, it's called subsidized housing, whether we pay for it in city debt (and taxes), or directly by having higher home prices because the companies are passing the cost directly to us, rather than it being a 'hidden cost' of taxes. we're still paying. especially if it's not paid for by taxes immediately and there is debt. now we're paying the cost of the housing, plus interest, and maybe that bill doesn't get cashed until later down the road, but all it leads to us paying more at some point (and maybe that price is passed so far it goes to our kids).

 

The rise in home prices is due entirely to previous (pre-corona) economic conditions leading to a boom in real estate, coupled with rising demand due to in-migration into Texas. In case of the East End in particular, gentrification is driving up housing prices across the area, as an area that used to be rather forgotten and run down in Houston is suddenly becoming increasingly desirable. This is economics naturally at work; demand is driving the prices of the supply, which is also increasing to meet the overwhelming demand. However, if you compare Houston to all of its compatriots in the 1 million+ population club (and quite a few smaller cities), Houston is still overwhelmingly cheaper to live in with a much lower cost of living, and a lot of that is due to Houston allowing development of new housing stock at such a high rate. That's just facts. Only San Antonio is cheaper. Truth is, prices rising to some extent is a good thing, because it indicates a healthy, growing economy, and I'm sure homeowners are appreciating the increased property value. IZ, along with other government policies, simply drive the prices up more by constraining the supply, thus driving the price even further upwards to compensate for the overwhelming demand in an artificial way.

 

IZ is subsidized housing because the tenant of the IZ housing is not paying the actual cost of their housing. In such cases, the developer or owner must "subsidize" said tenant, because the costs that make their property "market rate" don't suddenly go away just because the unit they are living is now used for below market rate housing. Those who pay market rate are unsubsidized because they bear the full brunt of the costs.

 

On 5/21/2020 at 9:00 AM, samagon said:

and make no mistake about it, I am not advocating zoning, far from it, but in actuality, when you create a low income housing complex, you are creating a poor zone. no I don't want zoning in Houston, but I do see the value in laws like parking minimums and setbacks, and other laws that Houston has in place that dictate how people can build. a low income requirement for apartments would be no different.

 

I actually wouldn't mind Houston reigning in their parking minimums a lot more than they have. And I understand how Houston uses its setback laws to wring developers into doing improvements when they want to get exemptions for them; they are really more for horse trading purposes than anything else. However, there just isn't enough proof there for me to say that IZ would actually help in anyway. It would just be another unnecessary hurdle for development. Hell, i can't even say it would help the poor if it was implemented. It seems to be something that actually geared towards helping the middle class, and Houston is already the most affordable big city in America for the middle class.

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6 hours ago, Big E said:

 

Your comparison is apples to oranges

 

I'm honest. I stopped reading when you wrote this. 

 

what you seem to have said in one simple statement is that we can't take the supposed conclusions of how IZ affected SF and then apply to Houston because of all of our differences.

 

I'm glad you agree with me.

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31 minutes ago, samagon said:

 

I'm honest. I stopped reading when you wrote this. 

 

what you seem to have said in one simple statement is that we can't take the supposed conclusions of how IZ affected SF and then apply to Houston because of all of our differences.

 

I'm glad you agree with me.

 

Then you should have kept reading, because you didn't understand why I called your statement apple to oranges. I called it that because you intentionally skewed your comparison. You compared the densest, most central part of the cities/metro areas of San Fran, New York, and Seattle to the entire metro area of Houston. Your comparison was inherently flawed because it didn't compare like things and was weighted in your favor because of that. Despite how preposterous it was, I took the time to read it and explain why it was flawed. It says more about you that you didn't take the time to read my explanation.

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32 minutes ago, Big E said:

 

Then you should have kept reading, because you didn't understand why I called your statement apple to oranges. I called it that because you intentionally skewed your comparison. You compared the densest, most central part of the cities/metro areas of San Fran, New York, and Seattle to the entire metro area of Houston. Your comparison was inherently flawed because it didn't compare like things and was weighted in your favor because of that. Despite how preposterous it was, I took the time to read it and explain why it was flawed. It says more about you that you didn't take the time to read my explanation.

 

ok, so the phrase 'apples and oranges' is an idiom that means that two things are fundamentally different and not suited to comparison.

 

the idiom you used basically said to me "we can't compare SF and Houston because they are way too different", yet the whole basis of your argument is that we need to compare the two cities. so I hope you can understand my reaction.

 

now that I understand you weren't dismissing the comparisons, you were simply trying to show that I didn't consider the greater metro areas of the other towns, yet did with Houston, it makes more sense.

 

anyway, thanks for the explanation, and sorry for misunderstanding you.

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8 hours ago, Big E said:

 

You say that you can live in other areas outside of Houston, up to 20 miles away, and get a home, but that remains true in every other city you also mentioned. If you want to live in the San Francisco Bay area, you don't have to live in SanFran itself. You can live in San Jose, Oakland, San Marino, and dozens of other cities and unincorporated areas. Same with New York: one doesn't have to live in Manhattan, or in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, or even Staten Island. One can live further into Long Island, in New Jersey, or in a New York State suburb north of New York City, like Yonkers, and simply commute into the city, and thousands of people do just that every day. Seattle is the same. In all of these cases, you can live 20 miles outside the city and probably get a cheaper home if you do.

 

land area in and around Houston, compared to these other cities is absolutely far greater. it is pretty inaccurate to suggest differently. 

 

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Also, all of these cities have geographic limitations, yes even Houston (the area to the east of Houston is forested and swampy, and not really fit for mass development, so it has remained undeveloped, and to the southeast is the Galveston and Trinity Bays, which you overlooked for no real reason; this is why Houston is mainly growing westward).

 

Alief was once a marshy patch of rice fields, the woodlands were forested (and if you take a hike up in Sam Houston National Forest, you'll see that the forested areas are just as swampy and marshy as anywhere east of town.

 

read some of the stories from the first settlers in Houston and it was a marshy forest. go take a drive around BW8 and you quickly see how much land there really is that can be infilled.

 

the real reason areas east of Houston aren't developed quite as much as the west and north, and even the south is for the same reasons it is kind of silly to consider some of the places you mentioned above as viable solutions for housing. they are geographically hard to access. getting from areas east of the San Jacinto river into Houston are very limited, just like areas east of the SF bay area. there's 1 or 2 options for getting from one side to the other. it is not desirable.

 

I ignored the bays because it isn't a hindrance in Houston. Rosharon, Manvel, Alvin, even tracts of land near the beltway. completely undeveloped, or if they are developed, they are fields with a few cattle grazing with owners that are waiting for the right person to walk up and offer them money for the land.

 

so yeah, compared to many other places, Houston, and surrounding areas are very land rich. 

 

Quote

 

The rise in home prices is due entirely to previous (pre-corona) economic conditions leading to a boom in real estate, coupled with rising demand due to in-migration into Texas. In case of the East End in particular, gentrification is driving up housing prices across the area, as an area that used to be rather forgotten and run down in Houston is suddenly becoming increasingly desirable. This is economics naturally at work; demand is driving the prices of the supply, which is also increasing to meet the overwhelming demand. However, if you compare Houston to all of its compatriots in the 1 million+ population club (and quite a few smaller cities), Houston is still overwhelmingly cheaper to live in with a much lower cost of living, and a lot of that is due to Houston allowing development of new housing stock at such a high rate. That's just facts. Only San Antonio is cheaper. Truth is, prices rising to some extent is a good thing, because it indicates a healthy, growing economy, and I'm sure homeowners are appreciating the increased property value. IZ, along with other government policies, simply drive the prices up more by constraining the supply, thus driving the price even further upwards to compensate for the overwhelming demand in an artificial way.

 

 

so, even without IZ, home prices go up?

 

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IZ is subsidized housing because the tenant of the IZ housing is not paying the actual cost of their housing. In such cases, the developer or owner must "subsidize" said tenant, because the costs that make their property "market rate" don't suddenly go away just because the unit they are living is now used for below market rate housing. Those who pay market rate are unsubsidized because they bear the full brunt of the costs.

 

understood, the subsidy is being paid for in a more direct fashion than if it were housing put up by the city. it is closer to a true cost of the subsidy.

 

however, I will agree, that placing the entire burden of cost on builders may have a negative effect. there should be offsets in place that doesn't saddle them with the entire burden. basically, when they build, it should cost them nothing to have x percentage of the sf dedicated to low income. so basically, if the government requires that 10% of the building be used for low income, then the government should pay 10% of the cost, or give tax abatement equal to 10% of the cost, however it would be done. 

 

point is, it can be done in a way that isn't going to keep builders from building.

 

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I actually wouldn't mind Houston reigning in their parking minimums a lot more than they have. And I understand how Houston uses its setback laws to wring developers into doing improvements when they want to get exemptions for them; they are really more for horse trading purposes than anything else. However, there just isn't enough proof there for me to say that IZ would actually help in anyway. It would just be another unnecessary hurdle for development. Hell, i can't even say it would help the poor if it was implemented. It seems to be something that actually geared towards helping the middle class, and Houston is already the most affordable big city in America for the middle class.

 

I don't think anyone would, and considering the cities change requests for i45, I would assume they need to start putting their money where their mouth is and start reducing parking requirements, and start working a bit more aggressively on transit solutions. 

 

although, with all the recent bike lane activity I've seen, they are getting things started.

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8 hours ago, samagon said:

land area in and around Houston, compared to these other cities is absolutely far greater. it is pretty inaccurate to suggest differently. 

 

That might be true in absolute terms, though even that is debatable depending on what you are actually measuring (MSA for example). What is also absolutely true is that Houston itself is geographically larger than any of these cities. However, that doesn't affect the point really. There are still plenty of suburban and rural areas outside of these cities for people to move to and live in. And honestly, in an era of skyscrapers and dense development, geographic constraint probably shouldn't play as much of a role. The fact that it does speaks to my wider point about how government laws and interventions are largely constraining development.

 

8 hours ago, samagon said:

the real reason areas east of Houston aren't developed quite as much as the west and north, and even the south is for the same reasons it is kind of silly to consider some of the places you mentioned above as viable solutions for housing. they are geographically hard to access. getting from areas east of the San Jacinto river into Houston are very limited, just like areas east of the SF bay area. there's 1 or 2 options for getting from one side to the other. it is not desirable.

 

Well that doesn't actually weaken my point that Houston has geographic constraints to development. Also, despite the geographic constraints, the eastern side of the SF Bay is just as developed as San Fran's.

 

8 hours ago, samagon said:

so, even without IZ, home prices go up?

 

 

Not necessarily. In a bad or stagnant economy, they may stagnate or go down. Even in a decent economy, home prices may remain relatively stable if demand isn't overtaking supply. Houston's home prices are a fraction of a city like New York's or San Fran's, even with its booming economy (pre-corona). Prices in some areas were probably stagnant, even before the corona virus hit. Depends.

 

9 hours ago, samagon said:

however, I will agree, that placing the entire burden of cost on builders may have a negative effect. there should be offsets in place that doesn't saddle them with the entire burden. basically, when they build, it should cost them nothing to have x percentage of the sf dedicated to low income. so basically, if the government requires that 10% of the building be used for low income, then the government should pay 10% of the cost, or give tax abatement equal to 10% of the cost, however it would be done. 

 

That...isn't a poor idea on the face of it. As the articles I linked above pointed out, when you get right down to it, IZ is more of subsidy program than anything else, and its success seems to be tied to how much the government is willing to subsidize to prevent rents and housing costs from going up. The problem is whether or not the government is willing to subsidize, how much, and whether or not IZ is better than other forms of government subsidy.

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On 6/15/2020 at 9:44 AM, ljchou said:

Do we know if any of the units they'll offer will be affordable housing?


Hopefully none. We have more than enough affordable housing developments between this portion of the East End and neighboring Fifth Ward relative to market-rate apartment stock, especially after HHA acquired The Circuit complex near BBVA Stadium with the intention of converting approximately half the units into affordable units.

 

We need more market-rate stock like the Marquette property on Navigation and (hopefully) this development to even things out.

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@thedistrict84 I don't disagree, this area has more than the average ( a lot more ). I would prefer HHA require an even spread of multifamily developers in greater Houston to require 1-2% affordable units instead of 100% in low-income areas and 0% in others. Especially since profits usually hit well below 98-99% capacity. 

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On 5/26/2020 at 8:35 PM, Big E said:

 

That might be true in absolute terms, though even that is debatable depending on what you are actually measuring (MSA for example). What is also absolutely true is that Houston itself is geographically larger than any of these cities. However, that doesn't affect the point really. There are still plenty of suburban and rural areas outside of these cities for people to move to and live in. And honestly, in an era of skyscrapers and dense development, geographic constraint probably shouldn't play as much of a role. The fact that it does speaks to my wider point about how government laws and interventions are largely constraining development.

 

 

Well that doesn't actually weaken my point that Houston has geographic constraints to development. Also, despite the geographic constraints, the eastern side of the SF Bay is just as developed as San Fran's.

 

 

Not necessarily. In a bad or stagnant economy, they may stagnate or go down. Even in a decent economy, home prices may remain relatively stable if demand isn't overtaking supply. Houston's home prices are a fraction of a city like New York's or San Fran's, even with its booming economy (pre-corona). Prices in some areas were probably stagnant, even before the corona virus hit. Depends.

 

 

That...isn't a poor idea on the face of it. As the articles I linked above pointed out, when you get right down to it, IZ is more of subsidy program than anything else, and its success seems to be tied to how much the government is willing to subsidize to prevent rents and housing costs from going up. The problem is whether or not the government is willing to subsidize, how much, and whether or not IZ is better than other forms of government subsidy.

 

as I was browsing the going up section I saw in the Gillette mixed use building thread that there are Houston Housing Authority buildings that are disused and boarded, and windows broken out.

 

it got me to thinking maybe the answer isn't some city wide solution that mandates each builder make accommodations. maybe there's other possibilities?

 

I was thinking about TIRZ at the same time. I know the midtown TIRZ has been buying land in 3rd ward (and it sits idle). if they can buy land, and all that stuff, why can't they also be in charge of ensuring low income housing in the areas they manage? TIRZ do a really great job of uplifting an area, or gentrifying it, or whatever word you want to use, but this often has the negative effect of pricing poor people out of the area. 

 

why not put the onus on the TIRZ to maintain, or grow low income housing in an area? a TIRZ basically sets a 0 point at a specific time. the taxable value of real estate at the time goes to city/county/state. for a period of 30 years, every cent that the area of that TIRZ that goes up in value over that original 0 point, the extra taxable money goes to the TIRZ. 

 

so, what could potentially happen, is if the area that the TIRZ covers doesn't have a minimum percentage of low income housing, they get less of those tax dollars. if the area that the TIRZ covers maintains a percentage, then they get what they are owed. if they go above the percentage, then they get more tax dollars (potentially from the tax dollars that were not paid to the TIRZ that don't maintain the minimum percentage of low income housing).

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On 6/30/2020 at 11:23 AM, samagon said:

 

as I was browsing the going up section I saw in the Gillette mixed use building thread that there are Houston Housing Authority buildings that are disused and boarded, and windows broken out.

 

it got me to thinking maybe the answer isn't some city wide solution that mandates each builder make accommodations. maybe there's other possibilities?

 

I was thinking about TIRZ at the same time. I know the midtown TIRZ has been buying land in 3rd ward (and it sits idle). if they can buy land, and all that stuff, why can't they also be in charge of ensuring low income housing in the areas they manage? TIRZ do a really great job of uplifting an area, or gentrifying it, or whatever word you want to use, but this often has the negative effect of pricing poor people out of the area. 

 

why not put the onus on the TIRZ to maintain, or grow low income housing in an area? a TIRZ basically sets a 0 point at a specific time. the taxable value of real estate at the time goes to city/county/state. for a period of 30 years, every cent that the area of that TIRZ that goes up in value over that original 0 point, the extra taxable money goes to the TIRZ. 

 

so, what could potentially happen, is if the area that the TIRZ covers doesn't have a minimum percentage of low income housing, they get less of those tax dollars. if the area that the TIRZ covers maintains a percentage, then they get what they are owed. if they go above the percentage, then they get more tax dollars (potentially from the tax dollars that were not paid to the TIRZ that don't maintain the minimum percentage of low income housing).

 

That's largely just shifting the burden from the city to the TIRZ, leading to a more patchwork situation. Now this could theoretically be better: rather than a city as geographically large as Houston trying to push a one size fix all solution, each TIRZ would be in charge of making things work in their own neighborhood, which they understand much better and more intrinsically than the city ever could. But it wouldn't fix the fundamental issue regarding affordable low income housing. It would force the TIRZ to push for low income housing in an unnatural, artificial way to meet a quota, irrespective of the wants of the community its serving or the actual economic conditions supporting such, rather than allowing the market and natural evolution of the neighborhood to dictate where said housing goes and if it goes there at all.

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  • 8 months later...

@ljchouasked an important question in another topic, and I figured it best to rehash it here to see if anyone knows: what is the latest on HHA's so-called "EADO" 800 development at 800 Middle St? I know there was a notice and comment period regarding an environmental impact study by the City of Houston which ended in October, but I haven't heard anything since.

I did hear that the contract to purchase the site for the Ojala development was tabled during the last HHA meeting in late February, after a large number of people commented in opposition during that meeting. I guess that is a win at this point. 

For the record, I do not oppose affordable housing developments and welcome the ones that are here. The problem is the volume of such developments already in the East End, and the very real concern that development of these projects is outpacing market-rate developments in the area. I've been cautiously optimistic about recent efforts to spread these developments out in other neighborhoods, and hopefully that trend continues. 

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23 hours ago, thedistrict84 said:

@ljchouasked an important question in another topic, and I figured it best to rehash it here to see if anyone knows: what is the latest on HHA's so-called "EADO" 800 development at 800 Middle St? I know there was a notice and comment period regarding an environmental impact study by the City of Houston which ended in October, but I haven't heard anything since.

I did hear that the contract to purchase the site for the Ojala development was tabled during the last HHA meeting in late February, after a large number of people commented in opposition during that meeting. I guess that is a win at this point. 

For the record, I do not oppose affordable housing developments and welcome the ones that are here. The problem is the volume of such developments already in the East End, and the very real concern that development of these projects is outpacing market-rate developments in the area. I've been cautiously optimistic about recent efforts to spread these developments out in other neighborhoods, and hopefully that trend continues. 

This is the last I have heard of it...but CoStar lists HHA as owner with a 2023 completion date.

https://dolcefino.com/2020/12/14/federal-judge-broadens-fight-over-controversial-public-housing-deal/

True Owner

 
Houston Housing Authority
Houston Housing Authority2640 Fountain View Dr, Suite 300Houston, TX 77057United States(713) 260-0501 (p)(713) 260-0808 (f)www.housingforhouston.comSince May 21, 2020
Developer
 
The NRP Group, LLC
The NRP Group, LLC1228 Euclid Ave, Suite 390,400Cleveland, OH 44115United States(216) 475-8900 (p)(216) 475-9300 (f)www.nrpgroup.com
 
 
Units
400
Year Built-Mar 2023
Class A
GBA
400,000 SF
Market Segment
All
Rent Type
Affordable
Affordable Type
Affordable Units

 

 

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1 hour ago, phillip_white said:

Not sure if this is new "roiling" or a known development (also technically EaDo), but I'm adding it here:

Sunrise Lofts - 89 Units with 81 designated as Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief

https://csd.harriscountytx.gov/Documents/Table of Selected CDBG-DR Affordable Rental Projects 051920 - website.pdf

Recent (3/22/21) plan review permit states 64,086 sq ft apts with amenities. Currently an empty lot.

$22 million seems like a lot for 89 units. But, the scale is reasonable, and this development wouldn't be immediately near another mixed-income development (closest would be the 55+ project going up at Scott and Clay).

That being said, I'm surprised that there have not been more market rate offerings announced in the immediate area, especially since HHA purchased The Circuit by BBVA and is transitioning 51% of the units to affordable (at 60% AMI if I recall). 

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16 hours ago, thedistrict84 said:

$22 million seems like a lot for 89 units. But, the scale is reasonable, and this development wouldn't be immediately near another mixed-income development (closest would be the 55+ project going up at Scott and Clay).

That being said, I'm surprised that there have not been more market rate offerings announced in the immediate area, especially since HHA purchased The Circuit by BBVA and is transitioning 51% of the units to affordable (at 60% AMI if I recall). 

oh wow, you'd think they'd not need to do that with everyone living in the apartments being evicted for TXDOT would want somewhere close.

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18 hours ago, thedistrict84 said:

$22 million seems like a lot for 89 units. But, the scale is reasonable, and this development wouldn't be immediately near another mixed-income development (closest would be the 55+ project going up at Scott and Clay).

That being said, I'm surprised that there have not been more market rate offerings announced in the immediate area, especially since HHA purchased The Circuit by BBVA and is transitioning 51% of the units to affordable (at 60% AMI if I recall). 

I believe the development at Scott and Clay is being marketed as a senior living facility.

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  • 2 weeks later...

primed, it is being developed pretty hard.

I think it mostly will hinge upon what happens to the former Maxwell House coffee plant.

from a perspective of bars (which is a great way to introduce youth and get people comfortable with the area that might not have otherwise exposed themselves), Voodoo Queen has been here for a few years, whatever Sigma brewing is called has been here a few years, more recently there's Land and Sea, EE Back Yard, White Rhino. there's that warehouse on Milby and Rusk that was completed right before Covid, 

the real question is, how long it's going to take for BNSF to decide that it's more profitable to remediate and sell that land (and rebuild somewhere out of town) than it is to stay there? that is one hell of an industrial site that can help keep growth from moving the needle too far.

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On 3/23/2021 at 3:42 PM, thedistrict84 said:

@ljchouasked an important question in another topic, and I figured it best to rehash it here to see if anyone knows: what is the latest on HHA's so-called "EADO" 800 development at 800 Middle St? I know there was a notice and comment period regarding an environmental impact study by the City of Houston which ended in October, but I haven't heard anything since.

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/amp/City-Council-to-consider-approving-East-End-16099018.php

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The 800 Middle St. project is such an ill-conceived project for multiple reasons. Thanks for the heads-up, I just emailed Councilwoman Cisneros urging her to oppose this project--although from her quote in the article in support of affordable housing, it sounds as though her mind is made up already.  

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So according to this article, NRP plans to widen/extend both Middle and Kennedy St. In order to widen Middle St., they are going to have to tear down existing single family homes that have been there 70+ years. Not sure how it makes sense to remove those homes, occupied by mostly low income families, in favor of the new development. In order to extend Middle St. to Navigation, one would have to move the fire station. Seems unlikely. 

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19 minutes ago, burt said:

So according to this article, NRP plans to widen/extend both Middle and Kennedy St. In order to widen Middle St., they are going to have to tear down existing single family homes that have been there 70+ years. Not sure how it makes sense to remove those homes, occupied by mostly low income families, in favor of the new development. In order to extend Middle St. to Navigation, one would have to move the fire station. Seems unlikely. 

I suspect they are talking about extending Middle Street to the north, not to the south. It's hard to imagine what improvements they would make to Kennedy Street;  seems likely they just plan to extend it to the east.

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31 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

I suspect they are talking about extending Middle Street to the north, not to the south. It's hard to imagine what improvements they would make to Kennedy Street;  seems likely they just plan to extend it to the east.

Not sure you can extend Middle much farther north. I think there is only one block (maybe two) to the north of the Middle St./Kennedy St. intersection before you hit the trails. 

If I remember correctly, the HHA also claimed this project would have direct access to Navigation as a major thoroughfare. That could mean that the ingress/egress will be on the Velasco side. Although that would conflict with NRP's statement. 

Completely agree with thedistrict84 that this project is ill-conceived. 

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On 4/14/2021 at 10:30 AM, burt said:

Not sure you can extend Middle much farther north. I think there is only one block (maybe two) to the north of the Middle St./Kennedy St. intersection before you hit the trails. 

If I remember correctly, the HHA also claimed this project would have direct access to Navigation as a major thoroughfare. That could mean that the ingress/egress will be on the Velasco side. Although that would conflict with NRP's statement.

An extension is an extension.  I don't think they said anything about how long the extension would be.  (FWIW, there are easily three blocks between the current end of the street (4 blocks from Kennedy) by which Middle Street could be extended to the North before hitting the trails.)

Would love to see the source of that alleged claim about "direct access to Navigation as a major thoroughfare."

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

An extension is an extension.  I don't think they said anything about how long the extension would be.  (FWIW, there are easily three blocks between the current end of the street (4 blocks from Kennedy) by which Middle Street could be extended to the North before hitting the trails.)

Would love to see the source of that alleged claim about "direct access to Navigation as a major thoroughfare."

An extension is an extension? The goal of an extension would be to improve connectivity, which extending to the north would not accomplish. The connectivity to Navigation was presented by HHA to HUD in their application (I'd have to go back and search for the PDF) as a way to facilitate bus traffic and access to the project. That infrastructure does not exist. The streets in this area cannot accommodate bus traffic.  The fact is, in order to accommodate the increased volume of vehicle traffic and bus traffic that this project will bring, long time residents will be forced from their homes should Middle St (and possibly others) be widened. 

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According to that article, the developer said that Middle and Kennedy would be "improved and extended", which pretty strongly implies extending the existing street grid onto the property. Nobody involved with the project is talking about widening any streets - the townhouse developer said the streets would need to be widened as part of his opposition. 

Edited by Texasota
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