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Publication Date

February 2016


Roberto G. Quercia, James H. Johnson, and Mark McDaniel


Latino Community Development Center and Latino Community Credit Union


North Carolina’s 800,000 Latinos represent the fastest-growing segment of the population and a significant potential market for the housing industry, but a range of obstacles inhibit homeowner and renter markets from growing.

Center researchers Roberto G. Quercia and Mark McDaniel, teamed with James H. Johnson Jr. from UNC’s Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, examine them in The State of Latino Housing in North Carolina 2015.

Given the state’s aging native-born population, the much-younger Latino population (50 percent are under age 25) will play a major social and economic role in coming decades, researchers said. Thus, it is a strategic imperative to ensure that Latinos are fully integrated into the mainstream of the North Carolina economy, housing market and society more generally.

Latino Community Development Center (Latino CDC) and Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) commissioned the study to better understand the housing needs of the state’s Latino population, barriers they face in securing housing and market potential they represent

Among the study’s key findings, Latinos are more likely to rent (57 percent) compared to all N.C. households (33 percent), the study finds. Half of all Latino renters and 37 percent of Latino homeowners are cost-burdened, spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Rents and security deposits are especially high for larger Latino families that need larger units.

On the home-buying front, recession brings sharper declines in mortgage applications and greater loan denial rates for Latinos compared to N.C. households overall. For instance, Latino applications for site-built homes fell 68 percent in 2011-13 compared to 52 percent for all households. Denial rates for Latino home loan applications were 19 percent in 2011-2013 compared to 14 percent for N.C. households overall. Latino households also rely more on subprime, Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration loans than the market as a whole.

Researchers found that Latinos lack knowledge about their rights to home buying, ways to build and repair credit and ways to acquire a mortgage loan.

The study recommends that housing and community advocates collaborate to develop and implement an action plan for providing better information to Latinos, correct misperceptions and address barriers.

Policy actions, such as expanding the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit and fully funding the National Housing Trust Fund, could add to the supply of affordable housing. Increasing funding for the Housing Voucher Choice Program would enable more Latinos to afford quality rental housing.

Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership, Housing Policy, Mortgage Finance