Livable Places

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

What is Livable Places?

The Livable Places initiative is a continuation of the Planning Department’s effort to update portions of Houston’s development codes to enhance walkability, affordability and equity.

Following City Council's approval of the Walkable Places and Transit-Oriented Development ordinance amendments in August 2020, the Livable Places Action Committee will focus on updating the City’s development codes to encourage the development and preservation of affordable, quality housing for all.

The committee aims to create opportunities to:

  • build housing on existing vacant lots within neighborhoods that are largely developed
  • increase housing options with access to alternative transportation, such as bicycling and mass transit
  • improve safety
  • preserve great neighborhoods

This effort draws from community preferences identified through several previous planning initiatives including Plan Houston, Resilient Houston and others.

Use this page to provide input and feedback to the committee. Visit here often to find out about meetings, ask questions, participate in discussions and surveys, and to learn more. Your participation is important to help guide how Houston develops.

Livable Places Action Committee Meeting


ADU Design Competition: The Planning and Development Department is seeking architects and design professionals to submit schematic designs and concepts for an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) under the current City of Houston’s current building code and development standards. Public voting opens October 4th. Click here to learn more.

Workshop 2 - How to ADU | HOU: The City of Houston Planning & Development Department is hosting a series of virtual workshops focused on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) funded by a 2021 Community Challenge Grant from AARP. The second workshop, scheduled on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 6 p.m., goes more in depth into the steps necessary to build an ADU. Register for the How to ADU | HOU workshop.

Watch past ADU Workshop 1 - Benefits and Basics.


Learn More

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.

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.

Thank you for your participation!

What is Livable Places?

The Livable Places initiative is a continuation of the Planning Department’s effort to update portions of Houston’s development codes to enhance walkability, affordability and equity.

Following City Council's approval of the Walkable Places and Transit-Oriented Development ordinance amendments in August 2020, the Livable Places Action Committee will focus on updating the City’s development codes to encourage the development and preservation of affordable, quality housing for all.

The committee aims to create opportunities to:

  • build housing on existing vacant lots within neighborhoods that are largely developed
  • increase housing options with access to alternative transportation, such as bicycling and mass transit
  • improve safety
  • preserve great neighborhoods

This effort draws from community preferences identified through several previous planning initiatives including Plan Houston, Resilient Houston and others.

Use this page to provide input and feedback to the committee. Visit here often to find out about meetings, ask questions, participate in discussions and surveys, and to learn more. Your participation is important to help guide how Houston develops.

Livable Places Action Committee Meeting


ADU Design Competition: The Planning and Development Department is seeking architects and design professionals to submit schematic designs and concepts for an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) under the current City of Houston’s current building code and development standards. Public voting opens October 4th. Click here to learn more.

Workshop 2 - How to ADU | HOU: The City of Houston Planning & Development Department is hosting a series of virtual workshops focused on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) funded by a 2021 Community Challenge Grant from AARP. The second workshop, scheduled on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 6 p.m., goes more in depth into the steps necessary to build an ADU. Register for the How to ADU | HOU workshop.

Watch past ADU Workshop 1 - Benefits and Basics.


Learn More

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.

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.

Thank you for your participation!

  • We Ran the Rent Numbers

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    WE RAN THE RENT NUMBERS ON PORTLAND’S 7 NEWLY LEGAL HOME OPTIONS

    The original article is posted on Sightline.org and is written by Michael Andersen.

    Portland recently lifted a ban on 7 housing types. They include: a duplex, a triplex, a fourplex, a mixed-income or below-market sixplex, a large group co-living home, a double ADU, and a tiny backyard home on wheels.

    Working with Portland-based consultant Neil Heller, a faculty member at the Incremental Development Alliance, the study sought to answer the question - Will any of them actually be built? The study estimates the cost for each new housing type weighed against any proposed rent based on current market conditions.

    Read the article to learn what was discovered about each housing type.


  • "Best practices for ending exclusive single-family zoning" by CNU/Dan Parolek

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Image: Opticos

    Although the title speaks to cities with zoning ordinances, this article lists six tips for successful implementation of Missing Middle housing. The article highlights cities that have changed their policies to allow certain missing middle types that may parallel recent discussions by the Livable Places Action Committee.

    One of the major points is that increasing the number of units does not have to equate to larger buildings. House scale buildings/Missing Middle Housing can accommodate more units, more choices, and higher densities. And, it can often match the character of existing communities.

    Read the full article.

  • The ABCs of ADUs

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    The ABCs of ADUs is a guide that explains how ADUs expand housing options for people of all ages. It provides results and statistics from the 2018 AARP Home and Community Preferences Survey, has examples of different ADUs, covers many benefits of ADUs and more. The guide, produced by AARP.org, explains how ADUs expand housing options for people of all ages.

    Read the ABCs of ADUs.

  • ADU Photos

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Would you like to look at examples of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)? Visit https://www.BuildingAnADU.com to see pictures of ADUs in various stages of construction and examine creative design elements. The photos are arranged by category including construction, conversion, interior, exteriors, and much more.


  • Attainable Housing and Family Renter Housing

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    ATTAINABLE HOUSING

    The Urban Land Institute's report entitled Attainable Housing: Challenges, Perceptions, and Solutions(External link), highlights best practices and ideas on developing attainable housing. Attainable housing is defined as for-sale housing serving moderate-income working families. Units are affordable to households with incomes between 80 and 120 percent of the area median income (AMI) without subsidy.

    Houston's Housing and Community Development Department identified the 2020 AMI(External link) for a family of four as $63,050 and $94,550, respectively.

    Read the study to learn more about what has influenced the change in demand developers and builders are seeing "as a result of the rise of the small household, which has implications for denser, smaller homes at attainable price points."

    For more information, visit ULI's Attainable Housing(External link) website.

    FAMILY RENTER HOUSING

    Declining homeowner rates, rising housing costs, the expected increase in millennials starting families and an increase in multigenerational households are spurring a need for "new and interesting forms of rental housing that target a broader range of households, including many families." The new family-oriented rental housing is discussed in ULI's report, Family Renter Housing: A Response to the Changing Growth Dynamics of the Next Decade(External link). What is family-oriented rental housing? It is defined as housing of any density with two or three bedrooms.

    For more information, visit ULI's Family Rental Housing(External link) website.

  • Accessory Dwelling Units - Take the First Step

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link


    comment
    loader image
    Didn't receive confirmation?
    Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel
  • What is Missing Middle Housing?

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    comment
    loader image
    Didn't receive confirmation?
    Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel
  • The Missing Middle

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    The Missing Middle concept describes various housing types that provide an opportunity for Houston to grow in a way that can "provide more housing and more housing choices in sustainable, walkable places."

    “Missing Middle Housing” was coined by Opticos Design founder Daniel Parolek in 2010 to define a range of multi-unit or clustered housing types — compatible in scale with detached single-family homes — that help meet the growing demand for walkable urban living.

    Building types include styles that have been built in previous years. They include "duplexes, four-plexes, cottage courts, and courtyard buildings," and "provide diverse housing options and support locally-serving retail and public transportation options."

    1. To read more about the Missing Middle, visit their website.

    2. Comment and tell us your thoughts about "The Missing Middle" below.

    comment
    loader image
    Didn't receive confirmation?
    Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel
  • AARP: Making Room

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    "Americans are changing — and so are their housing needs. Unprecedented shifts in demographics are redefining who we are and how we live. If we simply ask ourselves different questions about how we want to live, we might discover better answers."

    AARP asks questions about the changing demographics that transform the country's housing stock and how to "feature a menu of housing options that better serve people of all ages and the needs of a changing America."

    Visit AARP.org/MakingRoom to access ideas, demographics, infographics, floor plans, solutions and join the discussion. The free Making Room: Housing for a Changing America publication downloadable from the site highlights varied housing choices.

    comment
    loader image
    Didn't receive confirmation?
    Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel
  • Residential Buffering Related Articles

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The following articles are provided for discussion purposes relating to the residential buffering ordinance proposed amendments.

    April 16, 2021 09:30 AM

    https://therealdeal.com/

    by C. J. Hughes

    April 16, 2021

    https://www.nytimes.com/

    comment
    loader image
    Didn't receive confirmation?
    Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel