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Cityscape: Volume 10 Number 2 | Chapter 3


Homeownership Experience of Low-Income and Minority Households

Volume 10 Number 2

Housing Tenure, Expenditure, and Satisfaction Across Hispanic, African-American, and White Households: Evidence From the American Housing Survey

Thomas P. Boehm

Alan Schlottmann

This article reflects the views of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Because of the significant growth in the number of Hispanic households in the United States, this article pools the 1998, 2002, and 2004 standard metropolitan statistical area samples of the American Housing Survey to compare the housing situations of Hispanic, African-American, and White households. We first consider the likelihood of ownership and housing costs (for both owners and renters) across race/ethnicity for all households and also households that were recent movers. We then analyze differences in ordinal rankings of structural and neighborhood quality. We find that factors that determine good structural and neighborhood quality appear to be consistent across all household types; that is, American households agree on what makes good housing. Several unique issues are identified for the Hispanic households in the sample; for example, crowding, high debt levels, and high annual housing costs per square foot for owners. On a positive note, rent subsidies appear to have a significant effect on lowering rental payments for all households. Furthermore, owners consistently rank both their structural housing characteristics and neighborhood quality higher than renters do.

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