Today’s overheated and hyper-competitive housing market puts low- and middle-income homebuyers at a disadvantage, exacerbating inequality.
The underlying facts of the United States housing market present significant challenges to low income and minority households—and this is specifically true for Latinos in the short and long run. Currently, the United States faces a vast shortfall in housing supply and this deficit leads to an increase in demand for the scarce available units. One result is a homebuying market that greatly disadvantages first-time homebuyers, delays entry into the housing market, and can exacerbate inequality. As inventory declines and prices rise, the majority of new homeowners has changed from Latino to non-Hispanic Whites. The Housing Supply Action Plan released by the White House describes laudable steps to increase the overall supply of housing as well as housing that is affordable. But the Administration cannot solve the crisis on its own. Congress must also implement transformative and badly needed housing investments. Only through a combination of administrative action and robust federal funding can the country truly resolve its affordable housing crisis. In addition to increasing the supply of affordable housing, we urge support for policies to provide lower- and middle-income families the opportunity to compete in the homeownership market.