Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-66nw2 Total loading time: 0.375 Render date: 2021-12-02T08:41:20.729Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

8 - The Benefits of Home Buying While Black or Latino

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2014

Mechele Dickerson
University of Texas, Austin
Get access


Blacks and Latinos have always placed a high value on homeownership, and they, like all Americans, believe that being homeowners will improve their lives and increase their household wealth. Civil rights and progressive housing groups also stress the benefits of owning a home and the importance of increasing black and Latino homeownership rates. For example, at the beginning of the recent recession, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights stated that

... the right to the American Dream of homeownership has always been one of the most fundamental goals of the civil rights movement. It is vital because homeownership is the means by which most Americans build wealth and improve their own lives and the lives of their families, and homeownership is essential to the development of stable, healthy communities of which all Americans can be proud.

Likewise, the National Council of La Raza noted at a congressional hearing in 2011 that

[c]ommunities of color do not own homes at rates comparable to their White peers, which contributes heavily to the racial wealth gap. Civil rights institutions have fought for decades for policies that ensure that qualified borrowers of color are able to access the same homeownership opportunities enjoyed by the rest of the market.

As demonstrated in the last chapter, blacks and Latinos have always faced special obstacles and barriers – many placed by the U.S. government – when they have tried to buy homes. Even when these groups manage to overcome these obstacles and barriers, however, they receive fewer of the economic and noneconomic homeownership benefits that white homeowners with similar incomes and credit profiles receive. Despite having heavier burdens but fewer benefits, blacks and Latinos continue to be encouraged to do whatever it takes to buy a house. Given the demographic shifts in the U.S. population, though, it now appears that blacks and Latinos are being steered toward homeownership for reasons that likely have very little to do with their financial well-being.

Homeownership and America's Financial Underclass
Flawed Premises, Broken Promises, New Prescriptions
, pp. 179 - 205
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Haurin, Donald R. & Morrow-Jones, Hazel A., The Impact of Real Estate Market Knowledge on Tenure Choice: A Comparison of Black and White Households, 17 Housing Pol’y Debate 625 (2006)Google Scholar
Dietz, Robert D. & Haurin, Donald R., The Social and Private Micro-level Consequences of Homeownership, 54 J. Urban Econ. 401 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Collins, William J. & Margo, Robert A., Race and Home Ownership from the End of the Civil War to the Present, 101 Am. Econ. Rev. 355 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Charles, Kerwin Kofi & Hurst, Erik, The Transition to Home Ownership and the Black-White Wealth Gap, 84 Rev. Econ. & Stat. 281 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iglesias, Tim, Our Pluralist Housing Ethics and the Struggle for Affordability, 42 Wake Forest L. Rev. 511 (2007)Google Scholar
Collins, W. J. & Margo, R. A., Race and the Value of Owner-Occupied Housing, 1940–1990, 33 Regional Sci. & Urb. Econ. 255 (2003)Google Scholar
Boustan, Leah Platt, School Desegregation and Urban Change: Evidence from City Boundaries, 4 Am. Econ. J.: Applied Econ. 85 (2012)Google Scholar
Horton, Hayward Derrick & Thomas, Melvin E., Race, Class, and Family Structure: Differences in Housing Values for Black and White Homeowners, 68 Soc. Inquiry114 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Anacker, Katrin B., Still Paying the Race Tax? Analyzing Property Values in Homogeneous and Mixed-Race Suburbs, 32 J. Urb. Aff.55 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carr, James H. & Kutty, Nandinee K. eds., 2008); Lee Anne Fennell, Homes Rule, 112 Yale L.J.617 (2002)Google Scholar
Flippen, Chenoa, Unequal Returns to Housing Investments? A Study of Real Housing Appreciation among Black, White, and Hispanic Households, 82 Soc. Forces 1523 (2004)Google Scholar
Kain, John F. & Quigley, John M., Housing Market Discrimination, Homeownership and Savings Behavior, Am. Econ. Rev. 263 (1972)Google Scholar
Turner, Tracy M. & Smith, Marc T., Exits from Homeownership: The Effects of Race, Ethnicity, and Income, 49 J. Regional Sci. 1 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boehm, Thomas P. & Schlottmann, Alan M., The Dynamics of Race, Income, and Homeownership, 55 J. Urb. Econ. 113 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mann, Roberta F., The (Not So) Little House on the Prairie: The Hidden Costs of the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction, 32 Ariz. St. L.J.1347 (2000)Google Scholar
Immergluck, Dan & Smith, Geoff, The External Costs of Foreclosure: The Impact of Single-Family Mortgage Foreclosures on Property Values, 17 Housing Pol’y Debate57 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zandt, Shannon Van & Rohe, William M., The Sustainability of Low-Income Homeownership: The Incidence of Unexpected Costs and Needed Repairs Among Low-Income Home Buyers, 21 Housing Pol’y Debate317 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shah, Anuj K. et al., Some Consequences of Having Too Little, 338 Science682 (2012)CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Conley, Dalton, A Room with a View or a Room of One’s Own? Housing and Social Stratification, 16–2 Sociological Forum (2001)Google Scholar

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats