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Houston's Mayor and Apartment Association Agree Growth Depends on People

Mayor Bill White tells members of the Houston Apartment Association no other region is growing as fast as the Bayou City. But he wants them to know that everyone should be afforded the opportunity to grow, beginning with a place to live. Pat Hernandez has more.



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Mayor White says no one is close to Houston when it comes to growth, but
it takes people who are publically committed and supportive to the idea of
growth and opportunity. He’d like to think that he had something to do with
the growth of over 265-thousand new jobs in the first four years as mayor,
more jobs added than 18-states combined. Mayor White says new challenges
come with growth.

“As we build closer and closer together, the traffic impacts of new development and other
things we’ve got to look at very carefully, so we don’t have a gridlock situation. I tell you
for example, around the Galleria area, if you don’t care, and if we didn’t have a management
district and TIRZ and engineers that look closely there, you’re precariously close to a situation
where and incremental development could bring things to a screeching halt. As a former real
estate guy, I gotta tell you there’s a reason why you have somewhat higher rents in the central
business district and out west than you do in the Galleria area. You pay one way or another if
you don’t pay attention to what you do.”

He says his administration is spending a lot of time filling in the blanks of
White told the Association that if it’s looking to invest in some big projects that
might attract the criminal element but wants to know what kind of public safety
support it would get from the city, he’s interested.
John Ridgeway, president of the Houston Apartment Association, says he agrees
with Mayor White when it comes to giving everyone a chance to contribute to the
city’s growth:

“Members of the Houston Apartment Association provide almost half of the housing to the
residents of Houston and Harris County and rental housing is a viable and integral part of the
overall housing plan. Again, half of the residents of our community live in rental housing.”

He admits that the Mayor and Association do not always agree on every issue, but
adds, it is a relationship of respect.

Pat Hernandez. KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.

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