UnidosUS (formerly known as the National Council of La Raza) released statistics on how Latinos are important to the housing market and the economy, especially New Jersey.
The Latino community has been fundamental in the Garden State’s economic resurgence after the 2008 economic recession.
Latinos make up 20% of New Jersey’s population.
The Latino community in New Jersey makes up 69% of the labor force participation more than 4% than New Jersey’s overall workforce participation rate.
This rate includes foreign-born workers, which comprised 27% and 28% of New Jersey’s labor force in 2011 and 2015.
Yet, despite their large contribution to the economy, 20% of Latinos living in New Jersey face poverty.
That poverty rate is almost nine points higher than New Jersey’s over all poverty rate.
UnidosUS states that “Poverty in the Latino community remains higher than that of other racial and ethnic groups.”
Latinos make up, disproportionately, low-wage workers – 42% of Latinos earn poverty-level wages. In addition, in New Jersey,
62% of Latinos face high rentals costs having a cost-burdened spending 30% or more of their monthly income on rent and utilities.
It is shocking to see how the Latino community struggle to make needs meet.
With economic security, still being a key concern to the Latino community, like all other Americans, there have been some gains in the Latino community.
UnidosUS reports that as the largest minority group in the United States, “Hispanic home buyers accounted for 69% of the total net increase in home ownership in the United States in 2015.”
This trend shows the great impact the Latino community has on the housing market and the economy.
Home ownership has one of the key ways to promote wealth-building. Even with the gains in home ownership, Latinos have a harder time receiving loans/mortgages compared to other Americans. With the tight lending standards, it makes it harder for Latinos to buy a home. Currently,
50% of home loans are made to those with an average credit score above 750;
Yet, only 18% of Americans have an average credit score above 750.
Latino borrowers were denied a mortgage at a rate of more than 16%.
With the Latino community contributions to the economy, there has been steady gain but, still disproportionate. UnidosUS’s policy to promote Latino growth and equal housing opportunity:
“Given how much Latinos rely on FHA to access home ownership, we urge the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to move forward to implement the Mortgage Insurance Premium reduction as planned. In addition, we encourage lenders and the government enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consider revising their policies on minimum credit scores and credit scoring models to provide broad access to creditworthy borrowers. NCLR is committed to working with the HUD Secretary Carson and federal policymakers to ensure that housing policies facilitate sustainable home ownership for all Americans.”
In New Jersey, the Latino community and other New Jersey residents are being left behind by policymakers – making the gap of economic inequality larger. Many families are falling behind in our growing economy, with no opportunity to “catch-up” in sight.