Harris County

Harris County Survey Finds Widespread Concerns About Natural Disasters, Housing

A survey released by Judge Lina Hidalgo also shows that residents are worried about air and water quality, and public transportation.

Over 11,000 people participated in the “Talking Transition” survey, which was conducted in five languages in Harris County.

Many Harris County residents complain about a lack of information about how the county government works, and feel unsafe about future natural disasters. Those are two of the key findings of a survey the office of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo released on Wednesday.

The survey, officially titled “Talking Transition,” was conducted after Hidalgo took office in January after delivering one of the biggest political upsets of the November 2018 election in Texas when she defeated incumbent Ed Emmett.

Over 11,000 people participated in the survey, which was distributed in five languages. Hidalgo told Houston Matters the initiative is "fundamentally about democratic governance, our government is only as good as it is democratic and it invites participation."

The survey also found nearly half of residents have a negative perception of the local criminal justice system. Hidalgo said her office is going to create a department that will focus on the administration of justice, including how the county reforms its cash bail system.

Air and water quality were also a concern, with a quarter of respondents rating them “terrible” and one third saying overall quality is declining. Survey participants also cited lack of public transportation and quality jobs, and the scarcity of affordable housing as worsening problems the county faces.

Hidalgo said in response to the survey, Harris County is expanding access to the City of Houston's 311 system, which provides information on multiple topics such as permits, utilities and garbage collection.

She also highlighted the launch of the Harris County Thrives website to provide interactive information about flood control projects.

You can read the full survey here:


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