- Housto Cost of Living Below U.S. Average, But Catching Up as Housing Becomes More Expensive [Houston Public Media]
- Housing Cost Burden for Extremely Low-Income Families in Texas Among the Worst Nationwide, Finds Report [Texas Housers]
- Caldwell Cos. Launches New Homebuilding Division Geared Toward Baby Boomer Buyers [HBJ]
- Sneak Peek at Museum of Natural Science’s Expanded Energy Hall [Houston Chronicle]
- Montrose Honky-Tonk Goodnight Charlie’s Eyeing Fall Opening [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot]
- ‘Champagne-Fueled’ Restaurant a’Bouzy Opening at 2300 Westheimer [Eater Houston]
- House Property-Tax Measure Seeks To Curb Rising Rates [Houston Chronicle]
- Environmental Groups Sue Pasadena Refining System over Repeated Clean Air Act Violations [Houston Press; previously on Swamplot]
- Brays Bayou Floodplain To Shrink After Channel and Detention Pond Projects, Officials Say [Houston Chronicle ($)]
- Lead Levels in Water at Some but Not All HISD Schools Now Down Below EPA Public Utilities Thresholds [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot]
- U of H and South Texas College of Law Reach Agreement in Naming Dispute [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot]
Photo: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool
I don’t doubt that the Texas Housers article is true. Class D apartments in Houston are way overpriced for what tenants get. There’s a myth that these places stay full by staying cheap but the truth is that they stay full by asking no questions and enforcing no rules.
It’s really infuriating that there’s nobody taking slum lords to task over their ridiculous rents and their failure to use some of their profits to bring properties up to code. This is my beef with Texas Housers really: they should be going after slum lords, and working with good landlords to improve housing. But they don’t.
@ ZAW: High-risk tenants get a raw deal the same way that high-risk carbuyers get a raw deal. They’re usually the same people. They pay more for everything they buy and receive less when they work. It may seem counter-intuitive to say so, but being poor is quite expensive.
I don’t think that the underlying problem is likely to be resolved just through community-based policing and housing subsidy. You might get the human detritus to decamp for a suburb or an unincorporated area, but simply displacing an issue is not a solution to that issue.
Being poor is expensive, we agree on that, Niche.
Our fundamental difference is and has always been that I believe that with the right services and help, all but the most desperately mentally ill or addicted can live stable, productive, dare I say it even Good lives. I am firmly of the view that we could have a much more integrated society, with rich and poor living close by and both benefitting from each other – if more people would acknowledge this and work on it.
Zaw: Most of our 1 bed inside the loop (SE inner loop) are under $600, and quite nice IMO. So I somewhat dispute both poitns. I think they’re cheap and we don’t have a ‘no questions asked’. In fact, while we do allow people in that might get denied other places (they’re going to end up somewhere), we offset that risk by having a higher secuirty deposit.
So low credit? Recent evictions? No problem. But don’t expect a $99 move in special. We charge at least a full month of rent as a deposit (+ a full month of rent on move in, regardless of when in the month you move in — we’ll prorate the next month). We have lots of people that say “Sorry I can’t come up with that much”, which is understandable, but we can’t take the risk on a questionable tenant AND little to no deposit.
I’ve seen our issues (noise, complaints, skips, evictions) plummet since we started being strict about our deposit amounts.
But remember all those people that go somewhere where landlords are ‘no questions asked’, they have to live somewhere — or on the street. Even if you use tax dollars to make buildings nicer, that doesn’t lower the amount of bad tenants looking for a place to live.
(Remember I’m someone that took about a dozen or so Crestmont tenants. Where people were saying “poor tenants, the Landlord was running a slum”. He was running a slum because no one paid rent. The city paid use a 1st month rent + deposit so we took them. The FIRST month they had to pay on their own I think we had to evict all of them. Not some, not even most. Literally all of them. Some people are hard to help :(
Cody: I Iearned long ago that almost everything about an older apartment complex depends on the owner/ manager team. A good owner and manager means a good apartment complex. And you are one of the good ones.
It doesn’t change the fact that we need better enforcement on the bad landlords. The big thing they should have done years ago – but haven’t citing cost – is periodic inspections of all rental properties. I think you would agree this would be preferable to the complaint based system they use now that punishes good landlords for having affordable housing in vocal (often rich) neighborhoods; while letting slum lords in poorer areas get away with awful things.
As far as the Crestmont Village goes: sorry to hear the tenants all had to be evicted after a month. Sad that HUD, the TDHCA, and the housing advocates would rather drop $54 million on 100 some odd apartments in Memorial, than provide sufficient aid to tenants to live in one of your properties. But I digress. I wouldn’t say the Vaknins (the New Jersey husband and wife team that owned the Crestmont) were victims of tenants not paying rent. Not if you’ve followed their multi state trail of slumlord destruction and seen the mansion they live in. They probably would have had better luck collecting rent if they had ran apartments worthy of paying rent on!