Race, Ethnicity, and Minority Housing in the United States

By Jamshid A. Momeni | Go to book overview

Introduction

Jamshid A. Momeni

Housing constitutes one of the most serious problems facing minority households, many of whom are poor or near poor. Much has been already said about the plight of this group--beseiged by the economic crisis facing them. Yet, it must be reiterated that today housing of the poor and low-income groups is in a dismal state.

Without well-paying jobs, it is highly unlikely that the poor and minorities will have sufficient income to afford adequate shelter. In addition to the lack of financial resources, they must spend an inordinate proportion of their income for housing. In 1980, 66.3 percent of all renters in the United States with income less than $5,000, spent 50 percent or more of their annual earnings for shelter, while no one with an income of $25,000 or more spent the same amount for gross rent ( U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1972, 1984).

These figures clearly demonstrate the importance of housing in our lives. For the majority of households, the money spent on housing is the largest annual expenditure. The amount that a household can afford to spend on housing affects housing location and quality, which in turn affects the family's happiness, security, well-being, and housing satisfaction from both social and psychological points of views. As Bullard (chapter 4) emphasizes, for most minority households, home ownership and a decent shelter is a dream that has yet to be fulfilled.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the prevalence of substandard housing units had drawn significant public and governmental attention, resulting in the 1949 Housing Act proclaiming the national goal of providing "a decent home and suitable living environment for every American family." The 1960s were marked by urban ghetto riots that led President Johnson in 1967 to

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Race, Ethnicity, and Minority Housing in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Ethnic Studies Series Editor: Leonard W. Doob ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figure and Tables ix
  • Foreword xv
  • Series Foreword xvii
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Introduction xxi
  • References xxiv
  • 1: A Historical Review of Changes in Public Housing Policies and Their Impacts on Minorities 1
  • Introduction 1
  • Conclusion 14
  • References 15
  • 2: Racial Inequalities in Housing: An Examination of Recent Trends 19
  • Introduction 19
  • Notes 36
  • Acknowledgments 36
  • References 37
  • 3: Racial Inequalities in Home Ownership 39
  • Notes 50
  • References 51
  • 4: Blacks and the American Dream of Housing 53
  • References 65
  • 5: Housing Policy and Suburbanization: An Analysis of the Changing Quality and Quantity of Black Housing in Suburbia since 1950 69
  • Introduction 69
  • Conclusion 83
  • References 85
  • 6: The Housing Conditions of Black Female-headed Households: A Comparative Analysis 89
  • Acknowledgments 107
  • References 108
  • 7: Accessibility to Housing: Differential Residential Segregation for Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asians 109
  • Introduction 109
  • References 125
  • 8: Su casa no es mi casa: Hispanic Housing Conditions in Contemporary America, 1949- 1980 127
  • Notes 143
  • References 144
  • 9: American Indian Housing: An Overview of Conditions and Public Policy 147
  • Acknowledgments 174
  • References 174
  • 10: Housing Problems of Asian Americans 177
  • References 193
  • 11: Minority Housing Needs and Civil Rights Enforcement 195
  • Introduction 195
  • Conclusions 209
  • Notes 211
  • Acknowledgments 212
  • Selected Bibliography 217
  • Index 221
  • About the Contributors 223
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