Houston’s Housing Scene Shaped by Regulation (or Lack Thereof)

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September 08, 2015

Texas’s largest city is known for its laid-back housing regulation, which has helped it to meet the needs of the population over the years.

While Houston has no official zoning ordinance, the city does have dozens of de facto regulations, says Zillow. Residential guidelines have been in place since the early 1960s.

The policies have created some long-lasting effects. For instance, a 1963 rule says that housing lots need to be 7,000 square feet if a septic system is needed, and 5,000 if one isn’t. This policy, under a development ordinance and not under zoning ordinance, ensured that Houston would have many single-family properties with large front yards.

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