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U.S. Latinos/as and the “American Dream”: Diverse Populations and Unique Challenges in Housing

  • Eileen Diaz McConnell

Housing has numerous impacts on the daily lives of individuals and families. For example, the cost of shelter influences what can be spent on other items such as education, transportation, or entertainment. Inferior-quality housing can lead to accidents and poor health. Housing conditions such as overcrowding influence whether household members have privacy and space to engage in various activities such as homework. Critical housing issues include the affordability of housing, the extent to which families are “cost-burdened” due to the high cost of housing, housing quality, the value and equity of owned-housing, and the stability of households, among others.1 These matters have important consequences for children, families, communities, and the nation as a whole. Further, common practices such as redlining, a widespread banking policy after World War II through the 1970s that excluded racial and ethnic minorities from obtaining mortgage loans, real estate agents steering minorities to particular neighbourhoods, and other housing practices have had differential impacts on Americans by race and ethnicity (Squires, 1992) and have been particularly devastating for minorities, including Latinos (Diaz, 2005). Given this context, it is especially important to evaluate how housing outcomes continue to differ across racial and ethnic lines. Housing issues matter for the substantial Latino population in the United States, their physical and mental health, and their ability to save and to accumulate wealth. Latinos are a significant and fast-growing component of the housing market, because of international migration, fertility rates, and their relative youth. Indeed, between 1995 and 2005, Latino-headed households increased at a faster rate than non-Latino households, accounting for more than 27% of the total increase in U.S. households (JCHS, 2006). In the decade after 1995, Latino households grew by at least 50% in nearly every state in the country, accounting for all of the household growth in central cities, 26% in suburban households, and offset non-Latino declines in rural households (Ready, 2006).

Keywords

Housing Cost Mexican Immigrant Housing Tenure Latino Immigrant Homeownership Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eileen Diaz McConnell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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