The Housing Crisis and Latino Families

Research funded by Atlantic Philanthropies

Center researchers and the National Council of La Raza examined the impact of the subprime foreclosure crisis on Latino families and recommend policy interventions to stabilize households and help families rebuild lost wealth.

Project Overview

UNC Center for Community Capital researchers teamed with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) to study the impact of foreclosure on Latino families in five regions of the country.

Researchers conducted to conducted interview with 25 families who had recently experienced a foreclosure.  Interviewers
asked in-depth questions on a variety of issues related to the overall well-being of the family, with a special emphasis on the status of their children. Interviews were conducted in July and August 2009 in five regions: southeastern Texas, southeastern Michigan, the west coast of Florida, northwestern Georgia, and the Central Valley of California.

Their findings were compiled in a February 2010 report, “Foreclosure Generation: The Long-Term Impact of the Housing Crisis on Latino Children and Families.” The report sheds light on the significant and disproportionate impact of the foreclosure crisis on minority families and communities largely due to the targeting of subprime lending activities. The subprime crisis and its aftermath reversed years of gains among minority families, including Latinos, to build wealth and achieve financial security.

Families that experience foreclosure not only suffer financial devastation but also marital difficulties and major changes to plans involving their children. Children who experience instability in the home are more likely to have difficulty concentrating in school, while children who have to change schools as a result of foreclosure are traumatized with the loss of familiar surroundings and social networks. Affected families must rethink the feasibility of sending their children to college. These negative impacts will be long-term.

Researchers recommend policy interventions to help stabilize households affected by foreclosure and rebuild assets families have lost due to the crisis.



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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