The American Dream of . . . Home . . .

“The ‘Old American Dream,’ a Trap as the Floods Keep Coming”

“The modest house on Eugene Street, clad in white siding and shaded by a magnolia tree, was the embodiment of her father’s aspirations for his family. It was the inheritance he left for Ms. Hall and the generations to come: a place to return to when relationships faltered or jobs were lost. No matter what, the house would be there, and it would be theirs.

. . .

“Owning a home has long been part of Houston’s promise for many working-class families, offering security and a foothold for upward mobility. But disasters — flood after flood — have kept coming. A changing climate threatens more. In Houston’s poorest neighborhoods, the houses are no longer the safety net they were intended to be.

“A few months before Harvey, Ms. Hall ran into her mother’s bedroom and found her collapsed on the floor. Now, she cannot forget the request her mother made soon before she died: Don’t y’all lose my house.

“After all this time, and all this frustration, her patience had worn thin. “I’m tired of the unknown,” Ms. Hall conceded. Still, she wanted so badly to keep her word.”

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