Joe T. Darden
One of the basic necessities of life is adequate housing. The degree to which a government ensures that all of its citizens are adequately housed can be considered a measure of that government's concern for the welfare of its citizens.
Since housing is an economic commodity, one would expect that in a nation as wealthy as the United States, adequate housing for all citizens would have long been a reality. For a sizable segment of America's population, however, adequate housing continues to be a dream deferred.
This book, edited by Jamshid Momeni, a leading population and housing scholar, focuses on the reasons why blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians continue to live in housing that is unequal in quality and quantity to that of their white counterparts. The authors of this book are housing scholars from diverse academic disciplines. All agree, however, that despite passage of the 1949 Federal Housing Act and the 1968 Fair Housing Act, racial minority households continue to experience housing deprivation. Compared to whites, racial minorities are more likely to have a lower rate of home ownership and to live in overcrowded, older, poor quality, segregated housing in central cities. In order to find homes comparable to those of whites, minorities must pay more and must overcome barriers of either subtle or direct forms of racial discrimination.
Access to adequate housing in the United States occurs along a color continuum. Asians, for example, have greater access to adequate housing than other minorities, followed by Hispanics and American Indians. Blacks, in general, have less access to adequate housing than other racial minorities, and black female-headed households have the least access of all groups.
The authors of this book agree that persistent discrimination against