Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas –The February winter storms underlined a persistent problem in Texas — thousands of our fellow citizens are living without permanent homes or even shelter.
Texas’ 10 largest metro areas have become unaffordable to households with median incomes, according to one study. Another indicates that about half of all Texas households are spending more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing costs and utilities alone.
In the recently released March edition of Fiscal Notes, the Comptroller’s office takes a look at Texas’ intertwined problems of housing affordability and homelessness.
“Many of our communities have made significant strides in tackling homelessness among specific groups, such as veterans and youths, but Texas still has several thousand chronically homeless individuals,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “The challenge of getting them into safe living arrangements becomes ever greater as residential real estate continues to boom in Texas.”
In this issue, we also look at the phenomenon of “unbanked” Texans — those who lack basic banking and financial services because they cannot access them or are not inclined to do so. The number of such Texans has declined steadily in the last decade, but the thousands who remain unbanked can’t access a variety of services most take for granted, such as credit and debit cards, car loans and the ability to pay bills online.
Fiscal Notes furthers the Comptroller’s constitutional responsibility to monitor the state’s economy and estimate state government revenues. It has been published since 1975, featuring in-depth analysis concerning state finances and original research by subject-matter experts in the Comptroller’s office.
For questions about how our agency functions are continuing during the outbreak, visit our COVID-19 News page or our Virtual Field Office. Fiscal Notes is available online and can be received by subscribing via the Comptroller’s website.