The Dishonesty of Statists

Statists aren’t known for their intellectual honesty, but on occasion they exercise such intellectual gymnastics that even Simone Biles would be impressed. A recent example comes courtesy of the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters,” a column that supposedly has the purpose of making us think about important issues.

The article is titled “Houston sidewalks aren’t improving fast […]

Affordable Housing and the Choices We Make

We have heard a great deal about the need for additional affordable housing in Houston. Advocates have told us that over 210,000 households in Harris County spend more than half their income on housing. They have told us that children in low-income neighborhoods suffer from high crime and substandard schools. But in all of these […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mayor Turner’s Latest Cronyism

The Chronicle reports that the city will lend $13.9 million to HEB to build a new grocery store near the Museum District. The money comes from a federal grant issued in 1995 to help revitalize downtown. Mayor Sylvester Turner said that he isn’t thrilled about the “deal,” but it will help provide fresh produce to […]

Somebody (Else) Should do Something

Of major cities in the United States, Houston is always among the leaders in the affordability of housing. Yet, the Chronicle, frequently eager to bash the city, notes that

a report last fall from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas pointed out, Houston homeowners are the most cost-burdened in the state, with more than 10 […]

Another Government Plan Gone Awry

Since 2012, state officials have been encouraging the development of “affordable housing” in “high-opportunity areas”—those with better schools, lower crime rates, and residents with higher incomes. The state has been using tax credits as an incentive to developers. But the program isn’t working as planned, and the reasons aren’t surprising.

Developers are running into two […]