Though Programs Show Promise, Neighborhood Revitalization Can Take Years

Leah Binkovitz | @leahbink | January 9, 2017

Houston's Sunnyside neighborhood.

Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood.

In Houston, the city will sell developers property for as little as $1. And it will give some first-time homeowners cash to support their down payment.

It’s part of an effort to promote growth in underdeveloped, underserved areas while simultaneously promoting affordability.

But even with the incentives, those neighborhoods don’t change over night. Take the case of Andrea Caraway, who used the city program, plus another to help fund the down payment on her new Sunnyside home. It took six or seven months before someone else moved into the house across the street. And so far, her family is the only one with young kids that’s moved into the new brick homes on the block, she said. After her new house was broken into, she felt especially vulnerable.

“When you’re revitalizing,” she said, “you’re putting up new homes next to either older homes or abandoned lots. We’re a target.”

Read the full story at Housing of Houston, a new series covering the diverse people searching for housing in the country’s most dynamic metropolitan area.

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