Texas is one of the largest states in the United States of America with a population estimated to be over twenty four million. Although the state has had tremendous economic growth in terms of industries, infrastructure and urban expansion, the state has had a less auspicious history due to high poverty levels among its citizens. Over the years the number of citizens living beneath the federal poverty line has drastically increased. This has been occasioned by continued lack of employment. As economists point out; as the economy grows in Texas, so does the unemployment rates and consequently the gap between the poor and the rich. The biting poverty has resulted into lack of basic necessities among some households in this state. Housing has been a major challenge in the state of Texas with a very big populace lacking decent housing. The problem has been further aggravated by lack of affordable housing.
Although the government has installed many programs aimed at assuaging the housing problem, a lot much more needs to be done to provide affordable housing to citizens of Texas. Recent study shows that Texas ranks 7th worst out of the 50 states in terms of providing good and affordable housing. Investors in the housing industry have not able to satisfactorily provide affordable housing to the increasing population in Texas. It has been felt that the houses available are far beyond the reach or affordability by common citizens. A recent analysis of the housing sector in Texas shows that there are only 24 affordable houses to every 100 households in Texas.
Demographics on family and children poverty paint a clear picture of how poverty is a grave problem in Texas .Latest statistics show that children poverty rates stand at 27%.This huge rate of children poverty is deep rooted within the family background and economic status. This 27% is largely constituted of children from single parents, immigrants and the unemployed. According to this data, children living with single parents form 36% of the entire children population .Percentage number of children from immigrants families was 33%.Moreover statistics reflected that 35% of people living in Texas were renters, with about 1,416,583 people paying 30% of their income for housing. Homeless people were 36911 in the entire state. The term homeless in this case is used to describe people who do not have any place to call home.
The state government in collaboration with the federal government has formulated policies and programmes with the intention of reaching the federal goal of having affordable housing for every citizen in the United States. Financial institutions, housing corporations and nongovernmental organizations have been on the fore front to push for better and affordable housing in Texas. The Texas State Affordable Housing programme (TSAHC) is one of the famous housing initiatives in Texas. Formed in 1994, the corporation has seen many Texans achieve the dream of owning a home. TSAHC combines its earned proceeds and grants from the government with revenue from private donors to provide quality and affordable housing to people living in Texas. The programs undertaken by this corporation are majorly customized to suit the needs of low income earners who form the biggest majority of people suffering from house shortage. Examples of services rendered under this corporation are; provision of mortgage to interested home owners, providing advice to potential home owners and investors and connecting the house buyers with the house sellers.
Moreover, this corporation seeks or provides credit facilities to interested members. The Houston Housing Authority is also making big strides in providing solution to housing problems in Houston, Texas. Just like the TSAHC Houston Housing Authority provides information to potential home owners on possible opportunities and deals within the housing sector.HHA also provides advice and credit assistance to citizens. Through the efforts of the government and private investors, various affordable housing projects have been undertaken to make the American dream of home ownership a reality. Examples of such projects include the Amarillo Housing Program, Arlington Housing program and other repair and rehabilitation programs.
As earlier mentioned, despite the many efforts to address the housing problem in Texas, a lot is yet to be done in order to entirely address the problem. Lack of reasonably priced houses for many people in not only Texas is caused by poverty. Therefore the first step towards solving the housing problem is to fight poverty. Whenever poverty is mentioned, unemployment is never left behind. As a result, the government should come up with policies that favor job creation to the masses that are unemployed. It is through economic diversification and expansion that employment will be created and consequently solving the poverty problem. Moreover, the mortgage industry and house financing institutions should customize their products so as to attract those who earn very little. Although the mortgage industry has been very vibrant, it is seen as though it favors the middle class and specifically those who are in formal employment. Family planning should be encouraged so that people can embrace small families which put less strain to family financial resources.