Latino Homebuyers Face Hostility, Higher Fees and Fewer Options

Written by Aviva Shen

Though formal “redlining“based on race was banned decades ago, a new report finds that Latinos still face rampant discrimination in the housing market. Thereport, released Monday from the National Council de la Raza (NCLR), found that Latinos looking to buy or rent homes were more often met with hostility, quoted higher fees, and offered fewer options than white prospective buyers.

NCLR sent white and Latino testers to try to buy or rent homes in Birmingham, AL, San Antonio, TX, and Atlanta, GA — three cities with burgeoning Latino communities. Though about 58 percent of Latino testers had no complaints, 42 percent were subjected to discrimination. Housing agents were less willing to schedule appointments with Latino testers than white testers. Some Latino buyers were told they would have to pay an additional deposit or fee that was not mentioned to their white counterparts. Latinos were also specifically told they would need valid identification and a credit check. White testers, on the other hand, were offered cheaper security deposits, lower application fees, discounted rent, and more information about the neighborhood and financing options. They were also shown additional apartments Latinos did not see.

This casual discrimination against Latinos is not only offensive; it’s bad business. As the NCLR points out, Latinos will make up half of first-time home buyers by 2020. As most other young Americans’ interest in owning their own homesdeclines, overwhelming majorities of Latinos believehomeownership is intrinsic to success.

Housing discrimination extends to other non-white home buyers, as well. A similar study determined black and Asian buyers were told about fewer homes than white buyers, even though they had comparable credit qualifications and housing criteria. Another study found that black and Latino home buyers paid3.5 percent more than whites for comparable homes in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Though the Fair Housing Act of 1968 banned outright discrimination, many of the common tactics used against non-white buyers are subtle enough to keep them from realizing they are being treated differently.

Meanwhile, minority renters and homeowners are still struggling to rebound from the housing crisis, which hit blacks and Latinostwice as hard as white mortgage borrowers. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke blameddiscriminatory mortgage lenders who regularly charged minorities higher loan prices and “redlined” minority neighborhoods.

This post was originally published at ThinkProgress.

Photo from Thinkstock


J C Bro
J C Brou3 years ago

Hate is alive and well, and is as American as cherry pie!

Mike Wilkinson
Mike Wilkinson3 years ago

discrimination is a fact of life and happens on a lot of different levels.......looking for a job in this economy is a good example........the comments are as eye opening as the matter how many laws you pass .... you'll never be able legislate human nature.........

ali a.
ali a.3 years ago

It happens everywhere. Still, US is better than any other places.

Roxana Saez
Roxana Saez3 years ago

Discrimination happens...I appreciate articles like these because as much as we have laws and litigation unless you change the heart of man real and long lasting change is never accomplished. Thank you for sharing and hopefully making us a little less judgmental about our neighbors. We all have our "crosses" to bear in this world. It is much better when we have someone with us to bear the load or at least encourage us along the road.

Karen Bennick
Karen Bennick3 years ago

Who says we don't need voting rights laws in this country? To say there is no longer racism in the USA is as far fetched as any story I have heard lately.

Marie W.
Marie W.3 years ago

Let's look at some other factors please. Did all applicants dress and act in similar manner?; did they all arrive is similar vehicles?; etc. That may have made more of a difference than the race.

And by the way killing and roasting a goat in the front yard of your rental house does not endear you to landlords.

Valarie Snell
Valarie Snell3 years ago

sad but not surprising

Wesley Struebing
Wesley Struebing3 years ago

Sharon R. Do YOU get asked if you're "legal"? If not, there is NO reason why Latinos should, either. Gangs? Criminals? What about white gangs? White vicious criminals? Or, maybe war criminals (no matter nationality/color) who are here illegally? "oh - but that has nothing to do with me!" But Latinos aren't allowed that same "defense"?

Pamela Tracy
Pamela Tracy3 years ago

I am sure Latinos some of them are suffering from their gang culture that survives in this country. I never before 1995 had any problem with Hispanics, however in Albany, NY I was stalked by two Hispanic hit me with his car on purpose. The other harassed me at a bus stop early evening so I had to walk across the street to get the police. A former friend of mine questioned me why I was moving back to Albany, NY..she said there were a lot of Hispanics there 1992. I was shocked that she mentioned Hispanics because I at that time had no problem with them coming to our country. However with their gangs and stalkers they have now and in 1995 and after I am not for them at all.

Harry Schello
Harry Schello3 years ago

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN! Many years ago I observed in Britain the arrival of the millions of Asians from Africa when Britain abandoned its Colonies.
A family would buy a house in a street & move in the whole family clan, in so doing there would be dozens of noisy, screaming brats causing bedlam, adults would squat on the foot path carrying out morning ablutions cleaning teeth etc. in the gutters, the behaviour was too much to bear for the more genteel neighbours who sold & moved out very quickly.
Whole streets were taken over in this fashion.
So as a matter of freedom of choice the decision makers in this story of the Latino's would certainly have to look after their own residents before that of ALIENS!