NIMBY in Pasadena

NIMBY IN PASADENA This scruffy corner at Genoa Red Bluff and Space Center, right on the border between Pasadena and Houston, is the proposed site of a few 90- to 150-unit housing developments for low-income residents — a category which can include seniors and those with disabilities, reports teevee’s Samica Knight. But one potential neighbor Knight interviews doesn’t seem likely to prepare any welcome baskets: “‘If I had been looking for a new home and there had been low income property across, I wouldn’t have chosen this neighborhood,‘ said Pasadena resident Janet McClellan. ‘I would be afraid of crime, more crime. . . . Everybody does have to have a place to live, but I just think there are better more appropriate places to build those kinds of homes.'” [abc13] Photo: abc13

14 Comment

  • It’s a myth that Houston has a shortage of affordable housing. There may be local shortages – in neighborhoods like Montrose and Midtown, but that’s more than offset by pronounced surpluses in Gulfton, Alief, and increasingly along FM1960.
    The real problem here is quality. Too much of our affordable housing is in the form of dangerous slums. We had a building boom 30-40 years ago, and the multifamily housing that was built had a life span of 30 years. Today, many of them have suffered from years of deferred maintenance – and even through they were built for the middle class, they have become affordable housing.
    THIS is where our low-income housing money should go. Ideally, the thing to do for low-income housing developers is to buy up old apartment complexes by the two’s: the worst one in the area, and the one next door. Demolish the worst one, and use the land for something else (sell it at a profit); use tax credits to rehab the complex next door.
    Where they’ve done this, it has actually been WELCOMED by the neighbors.

  • Haha sucks to be you, suburbs…I’m enjoying watching the mass exodus of these people from my gentrifying inner city hood to the burbs. They have to go somewhere…maybe it’s time for the subburbanites to consider moving back in?

  • To her credit she’s just saying what everyone – from suburbab homeowner to new urbanist planner, is thinking

  • Cashadena!

  • Living near poor people is not actually that bad. The vast majority of poor people aren’t criminals.

    And sure, I own a gun, but I thankfully don’t anticipate ever having to use it.

  • Dear stinkadena, You are one of the least desirable places to live already. How is low-income housing going to harm that?

  • Spoonman: you raise a very good point. Tax credited low – income housing, when run properly, has no more crime than mid – range market rate housing. And the hurdles to getting into the tax credited housing business are such that most of the owners are professionals who run the places right.
    But this is a big part of why it’s so preferable to replace deteriorated housing with new tax credited housing, instead of just going off and putting it on open land. Most of the bad housing here in Houston is fly-by-night slums – owned by shady slum lords who rent to anyone: sex offenders, violent ex-convicts, gang members, dope dealers…. They don’t care. By replacing these slums with tax credited housing, the neighbors actually benefit from having a screened group of tenants next door, instead of a free for all.

  • It’s PASADENA for crying out loud.

  • The thing is, you can get CHEAP housing INSIDE the loop just miles from downtown and other “hot spots”. You don’t have to live out in BFE. I know as we’re starting to buy these buildings (since the experiences people are having in Montrose as renters are what we’re experiencing as buyers). We’re now renting large 1 bed units for $400 in areas like 5th and 3rd ward
    Even though they’re maybe 5 miles from our Montrose properties (which will rent for $800/month for a 400 SF box before we finish typing the listing), do you know how many replies we get when we post? zero. We even tried to bribe some of our Montrose tenants out there. no takers.
    Like Zaw said, there is PLENTY of affordable housing. And close to the city center. It’s just not exactly where people want to live. People are looking at crappy $1000 1 bedrooms in Montrose (I say that with love, since we rent them) and think “Houston is getting expensive!”, when they can go a few mile away and live for almost nothing
    (PS: Yes, I know these areas are somewhat “hood”, but obviously very high demand areas are going to be expensive and lower priced areas are going to have lower income tenants. That isn’t something that’s going to change)

  • you can’t discount the conveniences that the montrose adds though. The 5th and 3rd wards are a much longer commute to the west side of town (where all the money jobs are located) even if they’re only a few short miles away. those are a very painful few miles to drive in traffic. i imagine the only ones ponying up $1K for a crappy 1bd are making good money and have to commute in the mornings…most likely out West. Additionally, montrose allows a living style like no other. you can be close to friends and work all without owning a car. i know of no other part of town in this city where you can still live without the hassle of car ownership. thats a few hundred a month discounted right there.

  • The trouble, Cody, is that a lot of people need a 2 or 3 bedroom, 1000sf apartment for $800 a month, and (correct me if I’m wrong) there aren’t a lot of those available Inside the Loop, even in affordable areas like the 5th and 3rd Wards. For apartments of this size, you go to areas like Gulfton, Alief, and Greenspoint.
    Still, though there is NO SHORTAGE of affordable housing in the Houston metro area. We just need better assessment of, and investment in, the affordable housing we do have.
    Aside: thank you, Cody, for everything you do in rehabbing apartments. I wish you were working more in my area. :-)

  • Cody,
    Where are your listings?

  • Sally: I don’t want to advertise here but they shouldn’t be hard to find :)

  • That area is within 2 miles from some very nice neighborhoods in Clear Lake and across the street from some very nice middle to upper income homes in Pasadena. In fact, within a mile is a very secluded area of homes that are $400-$700k. It isn’t in the refinery or industrial area so it does a lot of harm to the values for those on both the Pasadena and Clear Lake sides of that area.