Race, Ethnicity, and Minority Housing in the United States

By Jamshid A. Momeni | Go to book overview

8
Su casa no es mi casa: Hispanic Housing Conditions in Contemporary America, 1949- 1980

Manuel Mariano Lopez

The period of general prosperity following the close of World War II, aided in large part by the Housing Act of 1949, the Federal Housing Administration's loan program, and the GI benefits packages--including the Veterans Administration's loan program--led to improvements in housing for all Americans. Overall, improvements in housing from 1949 through 1980 were substantial.

Yet contradictions persist. While great improvements have occurred, continuing gaps remain in both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of units occupied by the dominant whites and various minority groups. That housing for Hispanic Americans is better in 1980 than it was in 1970, and presumably in the 1950s and the 1960s, is to miss the essence of the issue at hand. 1

As Myrdal ( 1944: 375) noted, housing is much more than mere shelter; it provides a setting for one's entire social existence. Differential access to housing provides "the base structure for other forms of segregation" ( Johnson , 1944; Hershberg et al., 1979: 57). Being "ill-housed" can mean deprivation along several dimensions such as health, safety, and transportation. Such relative deprivations then lead to differential disadvantages in employment, educational opportunities, and most importantly economic stability.

For the non-Hispanic white population, as families' ability to pay for housing increase so do their options relative to housing: desirability of location, suitability of dwelling for family needs at different life-cycle stages, personal taste, and proximity to employment and other services ( Feagin and Feagin, 1978: 85). The issue, then, is the extent to which Hispanic households have the option in choosing quality housing comparable to those of non-Hispanic white population. 2

-127-

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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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