Updated March 26 at 7:54am

Report: Home ownership ‘out of reach’ for many R.I. Latinos


BRISTOL – Home ownership is out of reach for the average Latino household in Rhode Island, according to data from the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University and HousingWorks RI.

On Wednesday, the two groups released an infographic titled: “A Look at Latinos and Housing in R.I.,” which shows that 71 percent of Latinos in Rhode Island are renters, not home owners.

“The demographic trends of Latinos in Rhode Island are striking, with a median age of 26 and an increase in population of 47 percent over the past 10 years,” LPI Director Anna Cano Morales said in prepared remarks. “If we are able to make homes more affordable and attainable for Latinos, this young and fast-growing demographic can play an even larger role in Rhode Island’s work force and economic growth.”

The infographic was created using data aggregated from the U.S. Census, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training, and select housing surveys.

“The data … reveals that Latino households struggle to afford Rhode Island homes and apartments,” said a release. “Nearly one in three Latinos spend more than half their monthly income on housing costs, often leaving little income left to cover basic living expenses such as food, transportation or health care.”

According to the data, the median income needed to purchase a single-family home in Rhode Island is roughly $61,000, yet the median income for the state’s Latino households is $29,000.

“Latinos earn only half of the income needed to purchase a home and approximately $9,000 less than what is required to rent the average one-bedroom apartment in Rhode Island, which requires a $38,000 median income,” said the release.

The report added that Latinos looking to find additional income or ensure gainful employment face a “stark unemployment rate” and enter job searches with a traditionally low level of education compared to other job seekers. Unemployment among Latinos in Rhode Island is roughly 20.9 percent, more than twice the average state unemployment rate in of 10.3 percent, which was reported in January.

“Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in Rhode Island, and they represent the future of the state’s population and work force,” R.I. Sen. Juan M. Pichardo, chairman of the Senate Housing and Municipal Affairs Committee, said in a statement. “It’s critical, now more than ever, that we find ways to create more affordable homes for Hispanic families.

“All eyes are on the economy right now, and we have research to support that housing can be an important economic development engine. Investing and creating affordable housing has a direct link to stimulating the economy,” added Pichardo, a democrat.

To view the full infographic, visit: pdw.rwu.edu.


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