Skip to main content

Cityscape: Volume 18 Number 2 | Housing Decisions Among Low-Income Hispanic Households in Chicago


Borrower Beware

Volume 18, Number 2

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Housing Decisions Among Low-Income Hispanic Households in Chicago

Laura Carrillo
Mary Pattillo
Northwestern University

Erin Hardy
Dolores Acevedo-Garcia
Brandeis University

Refereed Papers
Refereed papers that appear in Cityscape have undergone a thorough and timely double-blind review by highly qualified referees. The managing editor reviews submitted manuscripts or outlines of proposed papers to determine their suitability for inclusion in this section. To submit a manuscript or outline, send an e-mail to

Scholars have begun to study housing search processes to better understand how they are shaped by and affect racial and class residential sorting and segregation. Existing research has focused on subsidized renters and on Black and White populations. This article fills a gap in the literature by using qualitative interviews with 23 low-income Hispanic immigrant and nonimmigrant mothers living in Chicago without government housing assistance. We explore interview respondents’ reasons for moving, their sources of housing information, and the primary factors they considered in choosing their housing. We find that—in the context of financial constraints, unplanned moves, limited transportation, and immigrant or undocumented status—social networks were most determinative of the housing search strategies that our respondents used. The reliance on social networks in turn led to short-distance moves that did not alter patterns of racial and class segregation in Chicago or increase respondents’ access to more advantaged neighborhoods in the city and beyond.

Previous Article   |   Next Article


image of city buildings