The United States is a leader in the construction industry, with a 10% market share worldwide. While many of these recently constructed buildings are residential, many Americans nevertheless find housing to be difficult to attain.
According to a recent report by CUNY, more than one million residents in New York City pay more than half their total income on rent alone. Overwhelmingly, these individuals include minorities, individuals with disabilities, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.
When it comes to white renters, only 22.7% are spending more than half their earnings on rent. While this is still a sizable number, Hispanic (30.1%), Asian (29.7%) and black (27.8%) renters renters are all more likely to spend a disproportionate amount of money on rent.
When it comes to home ownership, loan applications submitted by Hispanic people are more likely to be denied in comparison to white loan applicants, despite the fact that white people apply for 500% more home purchase loans.
Housing in NYC has been an ongoing issue for years. Rental and home prices continue to rise while wages remain stagnant for many low- to middle-income workers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has made a point to address housing affordability during his administration, and hopes to add 200,000 more affordable housing units by 2026.
Just this month, de Blasio’s administration announced a tax break deal that requires developers to earmark 20% of their projects’ units and dedicate them to low-income housing. He will also consider mandating these inclusive housing programs.
In addition to New York City, other cities nationwide are making strides toward an affordable housing market. Voters in Portland, Oregon approved a bond that would fund the construction of 1,300 units, and San Francisco also recently passed a requirement that all residential developers must make one quarter of their units affordable housing. This has drastically increased, more than doubling from 12%.
CUNY’s report states, however, that these initiatives are not entirely effective for “very low income” individuals who are not eligible for home ownership. This demographic overlaps disproportionately with minorities.
The Urban Institute discussed the possibility of Hispanic home ownership in a report last month. As Hispanic populations increase, the demographic is expected to make up more than 50% of households between 2020 and 2030. The median age of this group is 28, compared to 42 for whites. In 2016, it was measured that 43.3% of what families own the home they live in. This is true for 41% of Asians, 32.7% of blacks, and just 15.7% of Hispanics.
By making homes more affordable for younger people, CUNY infers that the problem with minority exclusion could be slightly curbed as well.