New Rules Aim To Encourage Homeowners To Fix Houston’s Sidewalks

Walk through any of the older parts of Houston and chances are you’ll step on a broken sidewalk. City council is trying to address the issue.


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Monamie HainesMonamie Haines stands on the sidewalk in front of her new house in Montrose.


Monamie Haines and her husband Sam have lived in Montrose since 2010. They just moved into their house on Converse Street.

Haines knows the neighborhood’s sidewalks all too well.

“They tend to be quite terrible,” she says. “In our old place, the sidewalk was very fragmented and broken.”

Now that they own their house, the Haineses have some say on the issue. In Houston, homeowners are responsible for the sidewalks in front to their property.

That can get expensive. But the Houston City Council recently took steps to encourage fixing them by waiving the minimum $100 permitting fee and offering two city-vetted contractors.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez first championed the idea two years ago.

“This is a win-win for communities,” Gonzalez says, “because it’s making the process easier and it’s also creating more walkable and safer communities.”

Homeowners can go on the Public Works website to download a permit application and submit it by email.

Haines doesn’t have to worry about that. The sidewalk in front of her new house is nice and straight.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is the News 88.7 business reporter and also covers criminal justice, guns and shootings.Florian's stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of...

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