My favorite example of what housing can be in Houston.
Isabella Court Apartments have a covered yet open air 2-tiered courtyard (it has an open-air clere-story) . Letting in natural light and fresh air.
Also several apartments are split levels-usually enter into the living/kitchen area, with bedroom and bath on the upper level, about 5-6 steps up. The split level successfully separates the private and public areas in small apartments and makes for a pretty dynamic space.