RI Latinos Shut Out of Housing Market

Feb 27, 2013

The dream of owning your own home is out of reach to most Rhode Island Latinos, according to a new report published by the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. Many struggle just to afford an apartment.

House in Harrisville RI
Credit courtesy Doug Kerr / Flickr.com/dougtone
Affordable Housing
Credit courtesy RI Housing facebook page

According to the Latino Policy Institute, 71 percent of Latinos living in Rhode Island don’t earn enough to buy a house.   On average, you have to earn $61,000 a year to buy a house. The average income for Latinos is just $29,000.  

Latino Policy Institute director Anna Cano Morales says many Latinos struggle just to pay the rent. "One in three Latino renter households are extremely cost burdened, spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing. So that leaves little money or little resources for other basic human needs."

Morales says one of the problems is the age of the Latino population. "We’re fairly young. The median Latino age in Rhode Island is 26, in comparison to the median age in Rhode Island which is 40. So we’re extremely young."

Latinos are also struggling to improve their finances. The unemployment rate among Latinos in Rhode Island is 20.9 percent, compared to 10.3 percent statewide.

Only 29 percent of Rhode Island Latinos own their own home.  The Latino Policy Institute says this data points up the need for more affordable housing.

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