Blog A Tale of Two Cities Breakdown: #HOUvsDEN

Sept. 18, 2022

It’s game day here in the Mile High City, with Denver trying to bounce back after a tough loss to Seattle last week. Let’s see how the cities stack up against each other. #HOUvsDEN

The Fundamentals

How do these cities stack up against each other?


As always, let’s look at the record for building housing. Houston comes in with one of the best records in the country over the past couple of decades. Every city should look to the dynasty they’ve created here, just world-class performance.



How about those rents? All that homebuilding means people can afford to live in Houston.



Home prices aren’t much better. Denver’s in a desperate situation this week.


The fundamentals favor Houston, so let’s see how they got here!

How We Got Here

Houston very famously has some of the fewest prohibitions for building new housing in the US. Houston is interesting, diverse, affordable, and delightful, and that all starts from legalized housing:

That also means they have drastically reduced homelessness. In fact, Denver’s politicians just took a trip to learn what Houston’s doing right:

The Wildcards

First, YIMBY Denver is bringing in Houston the cat, a key special teams player. Houston was scouted by our member Erik B and dreams of a Denver that has less burdensome zoning rules and more affordable housing. Plus, he's adorable.


Denver also has superior beer, no humidity, snow, mountains, and Casa Bonita (whenever it reopens). We haven’t sprawled as much as Houston, giving us more opportunity for infill:

Finally, YIMBYs Denver has been racking up political win after political win. With an election early next year, don’t count this city out.

The Final Prediction

Chris Calls a City

We’re biased, but the good bones of Denver give us an advantage in making infill over the next decade if we can execute on it. Chris Calls It for Denver, but that leads us to our last point!

You can be an important part of making more housing happen! Sign up for our newsletter, become a paid member, and learn more about us here on our website.

In a democracy, you have to play for a team if you want to win. YIMBY Denver winning means we all have more affordable housing, higher quality of living, and a more functional city. Join us, won’t you?