2015 Latino Housing Study cover

Latino Housing Needs in North Carolina

Research funded by Latino Community Development Center, Latino Community Credit Union, State Employees Credit Union, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Center researchers conduct a comprehensive study of the housing needs of Latinos in North Carolina for the Latino Community Development Center and Latino Community Credit Union.


North Carolina’s 800,000 Latinos are an important and rapidly growing share of the state’s population. They represent 8.7 percent of the current population and account for 25 percent of the state’s population growth over the past decade. Their housing needs will be an important driver of the housing market in North Carolina and the United States.

Researchers from the UNC Center for Community Capital and Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise conducted a comprehensive study of the housing needs of Latinos in North Carolina for the Latino Community Development Center (LCDC) and Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU).

LCDC and LCCU commissioned the study to better understand the housing needs of credit union members and the larger Latino population in the state and examine the current condition of housing for Latinos, their housing needs and what challenges or obstacles they face.

The UNC team of Kenan Institute Urban Investment Strategies Director James H. Johnson Jr., UNC Center for Community Capital Director Roberto G. Quercia and Mark McDaniel, senior research assistant for both centers, released results of the study in February 2016.

Researchers found that 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.

The UNC Center for Community Capital conducts research and policy analysis on ways to make financial services work better for more people and communities.


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