Skip to main content

New Cityscape Reflects on the Hispanic Housing Experience in the United States

HUDUSER Header logo
background icon
Twitter icon

background icon

More Share Options
background icon
Like This on Facebook

January 18, 2022  

New Cityscape Reflects on the Hispanic Housing Experience in the United States

The lead symposium in the newest issue of Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research continues the exploration of the Hispanic Housing Experience in the United States started in the prior issue. This issue fills a major research gap in the study of access to housing among Hispanics by examining segregation, assisted housing, homeownership, and the transition of wealth and real property between generations. This issue was guest edited by Alexander Din and Portia R. Hemphill.

Keith Wiley, Lance George, and Sam Lipshutz examine the connection between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's Duty to Serve (DTS) policy obligations and access to mortgages in colonias ― communities along the U.S.-Mexico border whose residents live in varying degrees of informality often lacking basic infrastructure, utilities, and titles to the land. The researchers identify government-recognized colonias to help these Government-Sponsored Enterprises to target, plan, and evaluate their DTS work.

Rocio Sanchez-Moyano conducts a regression analysis that controls for financial, demographic, and mortgage characteristics. He finds that Hispanic homebuyers tend to purchase homes in low-income neighborhoods with fewer White neighbors even when qualified to purchase homes in higher opportunity neighborhoods.

Dowell Myers and David Flores Moctezuma project the future of predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods in Los Angeles by examining age trends of Hispanics, their ability to purchase a home, and whether or not they are income-qualified to replace White homeowners who are considerably older. The article finds that Los Angeles County will have fewer older White homeowners, as they are gradually replaced by a growing Hispanic base, but in East Los Angeles, the authors find that elderly Hispanics are being replaced by younger Whites (and Asians).

Anna Maria Santiago and Joffré Leroux study Latino households who participated in the Denver Housing Authority's Homeownership Program (HOP). Compared to non-HOP Latino homeowners, homeowners who participated in HOP were more likely to hold 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at lower interest rates and reside in larger homes with fewer upkeep issues. Latino HOP homeowners also owned their homes about 2 years longer than non-HOP homeowners.

Kirk McClure and Alex Schwartz track the movement of low-income Hispanic renters in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program between neighborhoods with varying degrees of opportunity. They find that Hispanic HCV households are more likely to reside in lower opportunity neighborhoods, especially where their race or ethnic group makes up a majority of households in the neighborhood. When relocating, many Hispanic HCV households are likely to move to neighborhoods with similar or lower opportunity than their origin neighborhoods.

Sandra Newman and C. Scott Holupka conduct a multivariate regression and decomposition analysis to estimate the effect of being Hispanic on the odds of receiving assistance and whether being Hispanic could explain Hispanic families' significantly lower chances of receiving assistance compared to their non-Hispanic Black and White counterparts. The authors find significant disparities in the size of assisted housing units among Hispanic families compared to Black and White families. In addition, being Hispanic lowers the odds of receiving housing assistance by about one-third relative to Blacks and Whites.

Samantha Friedman, Elizabeth Fussell, Mayuko Nakatsuka, and Recai Yucel use 2017 American Housing Survey data to examine disparities in disaster preparedness among Hispanics and other racial and ethnic groups. While the study finds that Hispanics are generally less prepared than non-Hispanic Whites on resource- and action-based measures, Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians are significantly more likely than Whites to have at least 3 gallons of water per person, and Hispanics and Blacks are significantly more likely than Whites and Asians to have flood insurance.

Ernesto López-Morales discusses similarities and differences of colonias in the United States and campamentos in Chile — informal settlements populated by immigrants that lack basic services and utilities. Although there are housing subsidy programs in Chile, few programs exist to advise households on budgeting, homeownership, financial literacy, and other soft skills for maintaining a home.

Refereed Papers

Robert C. Ellickson presents five metrics for measuring the exclusionary tendencies of a suburb's zoning policies, as well as an aggregate metric that combines the five. The article applies the metrics to 37 suburbs and, in some instances, to 4 additional localities in 3 particular U.S. metropolitan areas ― Silicon Valley; Greater New Haven, Connecticut; and Greater Austin, Texas. The author finds that Austin's suburbs have less large-lot zoning, more small-lot zoning, and fewer restrictions on the construction of multifamily housing.


Affordable Design

Alaina Stern presents the winning design in HUD's eighth annual Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition, which focused on a rural site operated by the Fresno Housing Authority (FHA) in California. Teams devised innovative solutions to create a single, cohesive community from five contiguous properties in the city of Firebaugh and redesigned more than 210 units of workforce housing for farm laborers, migrant workers, senior citizens, and low-income families.

Data Shop

Alexander Din discusses the partnership between HUD and the United States Postal Service (USPS) to receive administrative data on address vacancies, which will help agencies better understand neighborhood change.

Jonathan Spader, Daniel Truver, Peter Mateyka, Patricia Holley, and Robert Callis examine the effects of COVID-19 on housing vacancy survey estimates, due to changes in data collection methods as COVID-19 cases increased. The researchers put forward an alternative nonresponse adjustment factor to correct for the observed changes in nonresponse, the results of which indicate that changes in nonresponse likely contributed to the sharp increase in the homeownership rate estimate for the second quarter of 2020.

Graphic Detail

Kirsten Ray reviews the criteria used to designate "recreation counties" and then compares metrics in non-metropolitan recreation counties versus other non-recreation non-metropolitan counties to analyze the relationship between recreation characteristics and long-term rental housing shortages in rural Oregon.


Maria Chelo Manlagnit De Venecia provides an overview of the 2020 Federal Housing Administration (FHA) proposed rule to allow a private flood insurance option instead of insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), for properties where FHA requires flood insurance. The author quantifies the benefits and costs of the proposed rule.

Industrial Revolution

Somik Ghosh, Ben F. Bigelow, and Vivek S. Patel examine how panelization ― a type of off-site prefabrication ― can make homebuilding more efficient and affordable. The researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with 10 production homebuilders from the Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan areas to learn the benefits and challenges of bringing this technique to scale.

Learn More

New on HUD User

Whats New bar


HUD USER | P.O. Box 23268, Washington, DC 20026-3268
Toll Free: 1-800-245-2691 | TDD: 1-800-927-7589
Local: 1-202-708-3178 | Fax: 1-202-708-9981

New Updates on The Edge HMP: Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas National Housing Market Indicators: December 2021