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Rich and Poor Divide, and How Schools Affect Property Values: Thursday’s Show (December 1, 2016)

Houston’s high-poverty areas have quadrupled since 1980, according to a new report from Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. The county’s upper-income census tracts tend to be more homogeneous — meaning that individuals with similar levels of income live in the same place. The researchers said this trend has been amplified over time, with […]

Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaHouston’s high-poverty areas have quadrupled since 1980, according to a new report from Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. The county’s upper-income census tracts tend to be more homogeneous — meaning that individuals with similar levels of income live in the same place. The researchers said this trend has been amplified over time, with Houston’s high-income residents becoming increasingly isolated from the rest of the region.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss what’s going on in Houston with Heather A. O’Connell, postdoctoral fellow at the Kinder Institute.

Also this hour…

The Link Between School Performance and Property Values

People often choose where to buy a home based on how the schools there perform. If a school doesn’t perform as well, fewer people might choose to relocate there.

A new report looks closer at the link between high school performance and property values. For every one percentage point increase in high school graduation rates, housing value in that same area is predicted to increase by $7,945. That’s according to a new report from Rice University’s Shell Center for Sustainability.

So, if a school does poorly, people don’t move there. And if people don’t move there, school’s might close. And both of those factors might drive down property values. And it’s a vicious economic cycle for that particular community. We learn more from Lester King from Rice and Jane Cahill-West, chair of the city’s Super Neighborhood Alliance.

Dealing With a Child’s Drug Overdose

Harris Wittels‘ success was fast, and it was early. He attended Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. And, at age 22, comedian Sarah Silverman discovered him at a stand-up club and had him write for her show on Comedy Central. His last project was writing for and co-producing the Netflix series Master of None, and he was going to star in it as Aziz Ansari’s best friend. But that wasn’t meant to be. In February 2015, Wittels died from a heroin overdose at age 30.

To cope with her grief, his mother, Maureen Wittels, founded the first Houston chapter of GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing). Maureen Wittels talks with us about better approaches and treatment for drug addicts. And Dr. William Martin, director of the Drug Policy Program at Rice’s Baker Institute, discusses his research and experiences with addiction and drug policy.

35 Years: Houstonians Affected by HIV/AIDS and Historical Accounts

Today (Dec. 1, 2016) is World AIDS Day, a new oral history project has been launched to collect the stories of Houstonians affected by the disease. The oH Project (The Oral History Project) has been founded to collect, preserve, and make available the painful, heroic, and inspiring experiences of people impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Houston, Harris County, and Southeast Texas.

Over the next three years, the organization will capture the personal experiences of 100 long-term survivors, physicians, activists, religious and political leaders and others in order to preserve the personal and institutional history of Houston’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Sarah Canby Jackson, co-founder of The Oral History Project and archivist for Harris County, realized that there was no oral history of how Houston was affected by this disease, both those who suffered from it and those who treated them and loved them. She tells us about the project.

Houston Matters gets underway today at noon on 88.7FM or listen online. Join the discussion at 713-440-8870, talk@houstonmatters.org or @HoustonMatters.

 CT Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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