Addressing the Challenges of Houston's Exceptional Growth

Houston's incredible rate of growth since 2000 has created a demographic and economic milieu that presents a unique set of challenges, and potential, that is often ignored by federal policies.

Rolf Pendall and Margery Turner provide details on the prodigious growth of Houston since 2000—its scale in raw numbers (1.5 million people and 500,000 jobs), the city's resulting diversity (40 percent white, 35 percent Hispanic, 17 percent black, and 7 percent Asian), and its age (only 9 percent of residents are over the age of 65).

The article makes the point that although Houston is exceptional, it also shares similarities with other metro areas like Dallas, Charlotte, Orlando, Phoenix, and Denver, among others. The article's primary argument is that the potential of these areas is underserved by federal policies:

"These metros account for over half the growth in young people over the past decade. So developing effective strategies for connecting low-income people with economic opportunities in these metros is critical to the future prosperity of the whole country. But many of the “place-based” initiatives traditionally funded by foundations and the federal government evolved to respond to the economic conditions and barriers facing communities in big cities of the Northeast and Midwest."

The post also introduces an organization called Neighborhood Centers, Inc., the subject of a recent study by Pendall and Turner, which "can help inform the next generation of strategies in other rapidly changing metros of the South and Southwest—metros that represent our country’s future."

Full Story: Connecting people with opportunities in America's fast-growth metros

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