Welcome to the Livable Places Initiative

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We're paving the way for more equitable, walkable, and affordable neighborhoods for all Houstonians.

Sounds good, right? We agree - but we need your help to make it happen.



Use this page to learn more and provide input and feedback on recommended changes to some of Houston's development standards. Visit here often to find out about meetings, ask questions, participate in discussions and learn more. Your participation is important to help guide how Houston develops.


About Livable Places

Houston is a rapidly growing city and family sizes are shrinking. There's a need for more, smaller homes for people of all ages. However, the City's rules make it difficult to build small, neighborhood-scale homes for people to buy and rent.

If we want to preserve our great diversity, culture and innovative industry, we need to act now to address issues like displacement and rising home and transportation costs. The goal of Livable Places is to update development standards to allow for a greater variety of homes to be built, make neighborhoods safer, and better utilize alternative forms of transportation.


Key Recommendations

  • Allowing more “missing middle” homes, like triplexes and small house scale apartment buildings, in developed neighborhoods
  • Making it easier to build accessory dwelling units, like garage apartments or “granny flats,” on single-family residential lots when not prohibited by deed restrictions
  • Adding more home options with better access to transit options like bus stops, bike lanes, and neighborhood destinations
  • Improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Reducing parking requirements in neighborhoods with good access to existing transit and bike lanes

These recommendations are based on community feedback and previous efforts by the Planning Department. We want to hear from you about how to make our communities more walkable, affordable and equitable - scroll down to find out more and leave your comments.





Overall Housing Recommendations

Planning Department staff presented draft recommendations for housing to the Committee at their meeting on May 11, 2022. These include recommendations for small lot developments, small multi-family developments, accessory dwelling units, and lot access to public streets. View and comment on the proposed recommendations here.


Get Involved

Attend a Livable Places Action Committee Meeting

For this project, we've created the Livable Places Action Committee. This is a committee of the Houston Planning Commission comprised of industry representatives, subject matter experts, community leaders and other agencies who will guide the process. To get involved in the conversation attend the next Committee meeting:

Livable Places Action Committee Meeting


Tuesday, September 6, 2022, 3 - 5 p.m.

(The Committee will not meet in August)

Details about how to join this virtual meeting will be posted here soon.


Comment and Learn More

In the Proposed Amendments tab, you will find information on various amendments proposed through the Committee's work. You can send us your comments or questions if any or start a forum discussion.

In the Articles tab, you will find various reading material that can provide context and definitions to support and provide meaning to the work the Livable Places Action Committee will discuss during its monthly meetings.


Schedule a Presentation

We want to visit with your organization. Let us know about upcoming meetings or events. Call Suvidha Bandi or Tammi Williamson at 832-393-6600 or LivablePlaces@houstontx.gov to schedule a presentation on the purpose of the Livable Places Action Committee and the draft recommendations described on this page.

Thank you for your participation!

We're paving the way for more equitable, walkable, and affordable neighborhoods for all Houstonians.

Sounds good, right? We agree - but we need your help to make it happen.



Use this page to learn more and provide input and feedback on recommended changes to some of Houston's development standards. Visit here often to find out about meetings, ask questions, participate in discussions and learn more. Your participation is important to help guide how Houston develops.


About Livable Places

Houston is a rapidly growing city and family sizes are shrinking. There's a need for more, smaller homes for people of all ages. However, the City's rules make it difficult to build small, neighborhood-scale homes for people to buy and rent.

If we want to preserve our great diversity, culture and innovative industry, we need to act now to address issues like displacement and rising home and transportation costs. The goal of Livable Places is to update development standards to allow for a greater variety of homes to be built, make neighborhoods safer, and better utilize alternative forms of transportation.


Key Recommendations

  • Allowing more “missing middle” homes, like triplexes and small house scale apartment buildings, in developed neighborhoods
  • Making it easier to build accessory dwelling units, like garage apartments or “granny flats,” on single-family residential lots when not prohibited by deed restrictions
  • Adding more home options with better access to transit options like bus stops, bike lanes, and neighborhood destinations
  • Improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Reducing parking requirements in neighborhoods with good access to existing transit and bike lanes

These recommendations are based on community feedback and previous efforts by the Planning Department. We want to hear from you about how to make our communities more walkable, affordable and equitable - scroll down to find out more and leave your comments.





Overall Housing Recommendations

Planning Department staff presented draft recommendations for housing to the Committee at their meeting on May 11, 2022. These include recommendations for small lot developments, small multi-family developments, accessory dwelling units, and lot access to public streets. View and comment on the proposed recommendations here.


Get Involved

Attend a Livable Places Action Committee Meeting

For this project, we've created the Livable Places Action Committee. This is a committee of the Houston Planning Commission comprised of industry representatives, subject matter experts, community leaders and other agencies who will guide the process. To get involved in the conversation attend the next Committee meeting:

Livable Places Action Committee Meeting


Tuesday, September 6, 2022, 3 - 5 p.m.

(The Committee will not meet in August)

Details about how to join this virtual meeting will be posted here soon.


Comment and Learn More

In the Proposed Amendments tab, you will find information on various amendments proposed through the Committee's work. You can send us your comments or questions if any or start a forum discussion.

In the Articles tab, you will find various reading material that can provide context and definitions to support and provide meaning to the work the Livable Places Action Committee will discuss during its monthly meetings.


Schedule a Presentation

We want to visit with your organization. Let us know about upcoming meetings or events. Call Suvidha Bandi or Tammi Williamson at 832-393-6600 or LivablePlaces@houstontx.gov to schedule a presentation on the purpose of the Livable Places Action Committee and the draft recommendations described on this page.

Thank you for your participation!

  • Creating Flexible Housing Options

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    AARP has a free webinar related to its publications about accessory dwelling units. The webinar discusses how backyard cottages, basement or garage apartments, and other small residences are housing solutions that homeowners can create for themselves or a loved one, or for renting to a tenant. Register here.

Page last updated: 14 Jul 2022, 07:44 AM