Brownfields Redevelopment Program
The City of Houston's Brownfields Redevelopment Program has been a tremendously effective partnership of government, industry, community and non-profit organizations working together to cleanup Houston’s idle properties, create jobs, encourage economic growth, and benefit communities in need.
What are Brownfields?
Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties that have real or perceived environmental contamination which has complicated or hindered redevelopment and revitalization. Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Examples of brownfields include properties that were:
- Service stations
- Auto repair shops
- Dry cleaning facilities
- Industrial facilities
What impacts do Brownfields have on the community?
Brownfields can have a variety of impacts over time on the communities in which they are located. These properties can decrease city tax revenues, as well as property values, which ultimately impacts the local economy. On Brownfields properties in which environmental contamination is present, there remains an ongoing potential threat to human health and the surrounding environment. In addition to negative economic and environmental impacts, the blight created by Brownfields can also affect redevelopment of neighboring properties.
What are the benefits of Brownfields redevelopment?
The redevelopment of Brownfields benefits the communities in which they are located in many ways. By removing blight and facilitating environmental cleanup, redeveloping Brownfields address environmental, public health, and safety concerns. Redeveloping previously developed sites and reusing existing infrastructure, utilities, and roads allows open space and undeveloped land to be preserved. In addition, it boosts the local economy by increasing city tax revenues and creating jobs and also improves the value of adjacent property.
What assistance is available from the Brownfields Redevelopment Program?
The City of Houston Brownfields Redevelopment Program was awarded two Community-Wide Brownfields Assessment grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2014. This grant funding allows the City of Houston to assist with redevelopment projects by conducting environmental site assessments. In addition, the City of Houston may be able to assist with strategic planning for cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfields sites and provide technical assistance in applying for brownfields funding from other agencies. To apply for assistance, please click here to complete the Application for Brownfields Redevelopment Assistance.
“For every acre of reused brownfields an estimated 4.5 acres of unused green space is preserved.”
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Below: Minute Maid Park, before and after