Housing costs continue to be a problem for our working-class and lowest-income residents. For every 100 extremely low-income households in the Houston area, there are only 19 affordable and available rental homes. This ranks the Houston metropolitan area third worst when it comes to affordable and available units for extremely low-income renters, or those who earn 30 percent or below the area's median income.
Even before Hurricane Harvey hit, Houston families were feeling squeezed by higher costs and less available housing. Fortunately, federal and local disaster recovery funds give us an opportunity to not just get back to the status quo, but to make lasting improvements in affordability. We are also committed to making sure our housing supply is safe and sanitary and that, even as we work to improve services and add new amenities, like walking paths and trails we avoid displacing our historic communities and curb neighborhood gentrification.
We need community revitalization without neighborhood gentrification. New amenities and improvements to existing infrastructure must be coupled with policies to ensure that the area remains affordable for people who already live there. New parks, trails, and other community benefits should be assets to historic neighborhoods and the people who live there.