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Infographic: Latinos and Housing in Rhode Island

Published on February 27, 2013

For many, owning a home is part of living the American Dream but new data reveals that this aspiration is out of reach for the average Latino household living in Rhode Island. The Latino Policy Institute (LPI) at Roger Williams University and HousingWorks RI released an infographic today that shows 71 percent of Latino households in the state are renters, compared to 39 percent of the state’s overall renter households.

“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 ten years,” said LPI Director Anna Cano Morales. “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.”

Latinos and Housing Infographic

The data, which was aggregated from the U.S. Census, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training and select housing surveys reveals that Hispanic households struggle to afford Rhode Island homes and apartments. Nearly one in three Latinos spend more than half of their monthly income on housing costs often leaving little income left to cover basic living expenses such as food, transportation or healthcare.

On average, the median income needed to purchase a single-family home in Rhode Island is approximately $61,000 yet the average income for Latino households is just $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.

Latinos working to add additional income or secure gainful employment face a stark unemployment rate and a lower level of educational attainment compared to other job seekers. Unemployment among Latinos in Rhode Island stands at approximately 20.9 percent, more than twice the statewide unemployment rate of 10.3 percent.

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

To learn more about the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University, visit http://rwu.edu/about/partnerships-initiatives/lpi.

About RWU: Roger Williams University, located in Bristol, R.I., is a leading independent, coeducational university with programs in the liberal arts and the professions, where students become community- and globally-minded citizens through project-based, experiential learning. Offering 43 majors and a plethora of co-curricular activities as well as study abroad options, RWU is dedicated to the success of students, commitment to a set of core values, the pursuit of affordable excellence and to providing a relevant, world-class education above all else. In the last decade, the University has achieved unprecedented successes including recognition as one of the best colleges in the nation by Forbes, a College of Distinction by Student Horizons, Inc. and as both a best college in the Northeast and one of the nation’s greenest universities by The Princeton Review.