Race, Ethnicity, and Minority Housing in the United States

By Jamshid A. Momeni | Go to book overview

without public sewer is believed to be due to the fact that central city locations, where the majority of the BFHHs live, do have a sewer system.

Relative to the availability of central air conditioning, type of heating equipment, and house heating fuel BFHHs are also at a significant disadvantage. As to the availability of air conditioning (AC), 13.4 percent of BFHHs, as compared to 37.4 of all white households, had a central AC system. Lack of a central AC system in some parts of the country, such as Maine, may not have much impact on the quality of living; but, in the south where almost one-half of all BFHHs reside, it is a major factor affecting housing quality.

The availability of a central warm-air furnace or an electric heat pump in the housing unit greatly impacts housing quality, for they constitute the most desirable home heating equipment today. Based on the 1980 census data, 34.6 percent of the one-person BFHHs in the owner-occupied, detached SFH units, as compared to 52.7 percent of their white counterparts and 61.5 percent of all whites, had a central warm-air system. In multi- person owner-occupied, detached SFH units, 41.7 percent of BFHHs as opposed to 58.1 percent of their white counterparts had a central warm- air system ( U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1984a).

In addition to the above qualitative and quantitative differentials in the units occupied by the BFHHs, a higher proportion of BFHHs' income than that of whites is paid for rent. In 1980, one-half of all white renters of detached SFH units in the United States] paid more than 24.0 percent of their 1979 annual income for rent; and, one-half of white female householders renting detached SFH units paid more than 34.8 percent of their 1979 annual income for rent. Relative to blacks, the corresponding figures were 29.5 percent and 38.1 percent, respectively, indicating that female householders in general, and BFHHs in particular, have to pay an inordinate proportion of their annual income for subaverage housing in the United States.

Overall, the analyses show some improvements in housing conditions between 1970 and 1980. However, the wide black-white gaps continue to persist. The major factor responsible for the black-white differential seems to stem from the wide income differences between the two groups. It is concluded that BFHHs, the majority of whom have an annual income below poverty level, cannot afford the housing adequate for their needs; and, even those with an annual income technically above the poverty line do not make enough to enable them to attain the national goal of a decent home for every American family set in 1949. The black-white disparities in housing are expected to continue as long as the income gaps remain.


Acknowledgments

This research was partially supported by a grant from the Institute of Urban Affairs and Research, Howard University. The substance and findings of this study are solely those of the author.

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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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