Gentrification Patterns Across Neighborhoods in Harris County, Texas, 1990–2016

Wendie Choudary , Rice University, Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Houston’s combination of growing socioeconomic and cultural diversity and its historical residential sprawling patterns has led to unique housing market challenges. The inventory of affordable housing has been diminishing due to gentrification. Environmental shocks like Hurricane Harvey exacerbate housing challenges, propelling neighborhood change in unintended directions. Utilizing Freeman’s (2005) and Chapple’s (2017) methods, this study develops a gentrification typology of Harris County neighborhoods. It identifies socioeconomic and built environment factors highly associated with gentrified neighborhoods using both principal component and multivariate analyses. Finally, this research determines susceptibility to gentrification using likelihood measures from a binary logit model. As expected, results indicate many neighborhoods inside Highway 610 are gentrified, but even more outside the 610 loop. Multivariate findings indicate the best predictors of gentrification are socioeconomic, housing, location, and transportation factors. Susceptibility results suggest areas vulnerable to gentrification, but not yet gentrified, are likely to gentrify in the near future.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization