Adequate housing is fundamental to health and quality of life. Moreover, housing costs are generally the highest expense in a household budget. Fluctuations in rent or mortgage can put families in economically precarious situations.
This is especially true for seniors living on a fixed budget without options to increase their income. More than half of Hispanics currently rent their homes, a percentage that has likely increased since the 2008 housing bubble. Latino home-owning families were hit hard by the subprime mortgage crisis.
Although mortgage default information is not broken down by race or ethnicity, local data point to Hispanics losing their houses because of risky lending practices and expensive mortgages targeting Hispanic families.
According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Census data, in counties where Latinos make up more than 25% of the population, banks have repossessed 6.7 homes per 1,000 residents since January 1, 2006, compared with 4.6 repossessed homes per 1,000 residents in all counties.
The gains in housing Hispanic families made were greatly diminished by the current economic downturn. As a result, more Latinos households now live in substandard and overcrowded rental housing than five years ago.
Census data has shown that Latinos are living in smaller and more crowded housing than the overall population. In fact, 10% of Hispanics live in overcrowded conditions, compared to 2% for the general population. This puts Hispanic seniors living on low, fixed incomes particularly at risk.
NHCOA is committed to alleviating the housing crisis for Hispanic seniors by providing affordable housing at two low-income housing facilities specifically for seniors. Located in Garden City, KS and Washington, DC, these facilities provide high-quality, low-income apartments for Hispanic seniors.
NHCOA also implements public policy practices to ensure that low-income seniors can afford to age in place, including advocating for affordable housing facilities and homeownership opportunities.