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Researchers from the UNC Center for Community Capital and Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise will conduct a comprehensive study of the housing needs of Latinos in North Carolina.

North Carolina’s 800,000 Latinos are an important and rapidly growing share of the state’s population. They represent 8.7 percent of the current population and account for 25 percent of the state’s population growth over the past decade. Their housing needs will be an important driver of the housing market in North Carolina and the United States.

Latino Community Development Center (LCDC) and Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) commissioned the study to better understand the housing needs of credit union members and the larger Latino population in the state.

“There are a number of key unanswered questions regarding the current condition of housing for Latinos, their housing needs and what challenges or obstacles they face,” said Tanya Wolfram, director of strategic initiatives for Latino Community Credit Union.

“We believe that understanding the state of Latino Housing in North Carolina will inform the future direction of Latino CDC’s work in this area and help LCCU better meet the needs of the Latino community through its mortgage program and financial education offerings,” Wolfram said. “We expect the study will also be an important resource for policymakers and other nonprofit and private sector organizations looking to better serve this market.”

The UNC team, led by Kenan Institute Urban Investment Strategies Director James H. Johnson Jr. and UNC Center for Community Capital Director Roberto G. Quercia, will approach the study in four phases:

  • Engage key state and local stakeholders and constituencies early in the research process to inform and shape an appropriately framed research agenda.
  • Establish a solid empirical picture of housing needs and conditions for North Carolina’s Latino community using U.S. Census, American Community Survey and other current data sources.
  • Analyze quantitative data to identify market needs, challenges and the housing landscape Latinos face.
  • Incorporate grassroots perspectives through culturally appropriate qualitative research instruments and focus groups.

Researchers will use the relationships forged with stakeholders, their analysis and framing of quantitative data and observations from focus groups to produce a final document that can serve as a resource for the two nonprofits as well as policymakers and other nonprofit and for-profit organizations that seek to serve N.C.’s growing Latino housing market.

State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU), a key player in founding Latino Community Credit Union and an ongoing partner with LCCU in working to serve North Carolina’s Latino community, along with Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation are providing funding for the study.

The year-long study began in June. Final results are expected in May 2015.

Latino CDC is a nonprofit organization that promotes financial literacy, affordable housing and economic development for low-income Latino and other immigrant communities in North Carolina. LCCU is a community based and member-owned nonprofit financial institution offering a full package of ethical, bilingual financial services, better credit options and financial education to its members. LCCU’s members are 90 percent low-income and more than 50 percent previously unbanked.

The Kenan Institute, part of UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, applies leading-edge thinking to real-world challenges. Johnson’s urban investment strategies team helps communities and people build pathways to prosperity in the global economy through knowledge, tools and sustainable strategies. They conduct demographic and economic impact studies, develop sustainable community and K-12 education reform strategies, and promote social venturing and innovation. For more information, visit or call (919) 962-2214.

A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for 77 years. With 1.9 million members, SECU provides services through 254 branch offices, 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Contact Centers and a website,

The UNC Center for Community Capital conducts research analysis that support innovations in financial services that help low-income households achieve financial security. Part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the center offers data and analysis that policymakers, advocates and the private sector use to find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people more effectively. For more information, visit or call (919) 843-2140.



Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership
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