The “Affordable Housing” Crisis

Last week, the Chronicle unleashed two more screeds on the city’s alleged “affordable housing” crisis. The latest target has been the Inner Loop, where rising demand has elevated housing prices. First, the paper informed us that rising housing prices mean that many downtown workers must commute. Then, the paper reported on a new study that […]

Protecting Texans From Their City

The Texas House is considering a bill that would severely limit the ability of local governments to impose historic designations on private property. Under current law, local authorities have broad discretion in designation historic landmarks and subjecting such properties to government control.

As might be expected, preservationists are up in arms. Steve Sadowsky, the historic […]

Choice and Affordability

For months, Regressives, including Mayor Turner and the Chronicle, have been on the affordable housing bandwagon. They have been telling us that Houston lacks affordable housing. But just last Friday, the Chronicle reported that “Affordable homes help Houston attract millennials.” Interestingly, both of these claims are true, but for reasons that Regressives won’t acknowledge.

To […]

Letting the Market Respond

Jerry Nickelsburg, an economist at UCLA, writes that cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles have a shortage of affordable housing because of supply and demand. The demand for housing exceeds the supply, and so prices have risen. This is true, as far as it goes.

Just last week, the Chronicle reported that Harris […]

On the Bicycle Trail to More Land-Use Regulations

Last week, City Council approved the Houston Bike Plan. The plan is allegedly intended to expand the city’s bike trails from about 500 miles to 1,800 miles. But as I noted in my last post, the plan isn’t really about bike trails. It’s about the city assuming more control over land use in Houston.

The […]

The Squeaky Bicycle Wheel Gets the Grease

Bicycle activists (I didn’t know that there were such things) achieved a significant victory this week when City Council adopted the Houston Bike Plan. Lest you think that this is a satirical piece, let me assure you that it is not. I can’t make up stuff like this.

According to the Chronicle,

the plan sets […]

A Flood of Altruism

More than 300,000 home owners in the Houston area can expect significant increases in their flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIH), which insures those homes, is more than $24 billion in debt and Congress is expected to end the subsidies that are bankrupting the program.

NFIH was created because private insurers didn’t want […]

Planning Leads to Land-use Regulations

Joe Webb, chairman of Blueprint Houston, an organization that helped draft the city’s General Plan, recently repeated the statist mantra that planning isn’t the same as zoning. At the same time, he noted that the plan will help the city control development and make neighborhoods better.

Technically, Webb is correct. Planning is a process of […]

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Statists often like to present their policies and programs as a free market solution. Emission trading, which Wikipedia calls a “market-based approach to controlling pollution,” is one example. Carbon emission trading assigns “property rights” to emissions, which allow the holder to emit a set quantity of a particular substance. Those who emit less of that […]

Trump vs. Houston

Last week, a Chronicle editorial proclaimed that the policies of the Trump Administration will have a devastating impact on Houston. While it is true that the policies cited–a border tax, import tariffs and immigrant roundups–will have harmful effects, the paper conveniently ignores the many equally harmful consequences of policies it advocates.

A proposed border tax […]