Report Finds California Homeownership Divide Disproportionately Impacts Latinos

SACRAMENTO, CA— UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, with an office in Los Angeles, 68 Affiliates across the state, and a team at the state capitol advancing state policy—released a new report, Building California’s Future: Latino Homeownership.

The report brings awareness to the impact of the homeownership divide on Latinos in the state. California is home to 15.6 million Latinos, representing 40% of the state’s population, making it the most populous Latino state in the nation, but the Latino homeownership rate lags far behind the non-Hispanic white homeownership rate and contributes to the racial-ethnic wealth divide in the state. 

Latino homeownership in California has the ability to stabilize communities, bridge the wealth gap, and strengthen the State’s economy,” Esmeralda López, UnidosUS California State Director for Policy and Advocacy and co-author of the report said. “Investing in Latino’s stake in homeownership provides the community with the opportunity to build generational wealth, and provide financial security, all while addressing the immediate needs of Latino Californians. 

“In June of 2023 UnidosUS launched its Home Ownership Means Equity (HOME) initiative, which set the bold goal of adding four million new Latino homeowners by 2030,” said Laura Arce, UnidosUS Senior Vice President for Economic Initiatives. “Investing in the economic potential of the Latino community is not only good for Latino families but also for all Californians. To advance the economic well-being of Latinos, we need to advance homeownership in California.” 

The report found that in 2021, only 45.4% of California’s Latinos were homeowners—18 percentage points lower than that of California’s non-Hispanic white population (63.6%). Notably Latinos in California are behind the national Latino homeownership rate of 49.4%. Making homeownership more attainable would help bridge the gap between the dream of homeownership and its realization, providing a pathway for Latino families to build wealth and financial stability.  

The report recommends tackling the challenges Latinos face in achieving homeownership in California requires a comprehensive approach and that policymakers should address the housing supply shortage, expand entry-level housing options, and make more significant budgetary investments from the state to close the homeownership gap.  

You can find the full report here.