In 2014, the Houston area began to receive any number of overdue accolades for our quality of life, amenities, diversity, food culture, etc.
Over any given week, it seems that some publication or organization was lauding “Houston” for one reason or another, which played very well to the inferiority complex of many Houston elites.
Local businessman and development expert Jim Noteware offers a different perspective on the matter for the Houston Business Journal, noting the key distinction between the Houston AREA and the City of Houston proper:
Despite the prosperity of the region – or the Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area – the city proper has not recovered from the recession. The city’s population growth since 2009 has lagged the region’s. Despite all the recent media accolades and celebrations of Houston as “Opportunity City,” and even the numerous construction cranes around the Galleria, downtown, and the Energy Corridor, many more people and jobs are accumulating outside the city’s limits than within.
The market is speaking, and people are voting with their feet, concluding that they can enjoy a better life for a lower cost outside the city limits. They are not behaving unreasonably, given that the quality of the city’s infrastructure (services such as education, public safety, and permit processing, as well as physical infrastructure such as roads, water systems, etc.) is declining, while the costs of providing city services (and the tax payments required to support them) are increasing. Many communities outside the city of Houston are simply offering a better deal.
Read the entire article here: Houston is No. 1 — or is it? Financials tell another story – Jim Notewware, Houston Business Journal.