Latinos Hard Hit by Housing Crunch
New Report Issued on Minority Household Wealth
New data released by the Pew Research Center found that household wealth for Hispanics has dropped dramatically during the recent recession. The report, Twenty to One: Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics, indicates the median household wealth for Latinos has plummeted more than 65 percent from 2005 to 2009, the most recent year for which there are figures. African American households also saw a significant drop, decreasing by 53 percent. White households declined 16 percent.
Why the Decrease in Wealth?
The decrease in household wealth is primarily attributed to the loss of home values in light of the housing market crash. But white families have been able to better withstand the loss than black and Latin minority homeowners. The downshift is especially noticeable in states like California, which has a high middle class Latino population that made owning a home a top priority. A full half of all home loan defaults in California were in the Latino community.
Various homeowner assistance groups are trying to help Latino homeowners recover by offering assistance programs including social services; a place to live, temporary or permanent, for those who have lost homes to foreclosure; assistance in finding employment; and education initiatives.
Anyone who has lost a home to foreclosure should check with their local and state government to see what programs are available in their area.