A New Report Says Texas is in Decline

Photograph by J.G. Domashny/Reuters.

What does it mean to invest in Texas? A new report released Monday suggests that, as other states face growing number of home foreclosures and economic fallout from hurricanes, so do Texas.

The report from the Brookings Institution and the Center for Community Progress outlines a number of ways to provide what the authors call “hedonic adaptation,” or upgrading existing buildings and infrastructure to reduce vulnerability to future natural disasters and potential infrastructure breakdowns.

In Texas, a massive air raid shelter was built in Austin to serve as a command center for the military during the Fort Hood shooting in November 2015. More than 5,000 law enforcement officers, including members of the National Guard, were inside when the shots rang out. Those staying behind at the shelter described the level of panic. In the event of another major disaster, residents may not have the same confidence that the Defense Department will set up a quick command center.

As Texas population grows, the report found that by 2034, 20 percent of all households in the state will be renters. This demographic shift poses a host of challenges for the state’s response to natural disasters. According to the report, the “growing population of renters places their rapidly evolving housing patterns and characteristics within the impact of hurricanes and other disasters,” potentially triggering greater displacement of low-income residents.

Read the full report here.

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