2023 Impact Report

Means Equity

Four Million New Hispanic Homeowners by 2030

A joyful family of four posing in front of their new house.
A family of three holding a "sold" sign outside their newly purchased home.

Breaking Barriers to Homeownership

Patricia Garcia Duarte intimately understands the barriers too many Latino families face on the path to homeownership. She’s lived through them—and has experience breaking them down.

When she was growing up in Arizona, Patricia's parents worked hard. But banks would not approve a mortgage for them since her father was a seasonal farm worker. A stroke of good luck allowed them to obtain a plot of land in a rent-to-own deal. Now in their 80s, they are proud homeowners with a legacy to pass down to their relatives.

But in Arizona and throughout the country, systemic barriers remain that prevent too many families from achieving their homeownership dream. This is why today Patricia works to break down those barriers and builds on her parents’ legacy as Executive Vice President of Homeownership Initiatives at our Arizona Affiliate Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC).

The data shows that over the course of their lives Latino homeowners can obtain 28 times the wealth of Latino renters.

Patricia Duarte, Executive Vice President of Homownership Initiatives, UnidosUS Affiliate Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.
Patricia Garcia Duarte, Executive Vice President of Homeownership Initiatives, UnidosUS Affiliate Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.

Patricia knows her family’s reality would have been far different if they had to remain as renters. The data shows that over the course of their lives Latino homeowners can obtain 28 times the wealth of Latino renters. The challenge is how to open homeownership opportunities to more Latino families.

Drawing on decades of experience and impactful work, UnidosUS will utilize its critical insight and longstanding reputation to achieve the ambitious goal of creating four million new Hispanic homeowners by 2030. This vision is supported by investments in our national housing counseling network and expertise spanning policy, advocacy, programs, and communications.

That is why in 2023 we launched a bold initiative to empower more Latino families through homeownership. With your support, along with the backing of anchor funder Wells Fargo, as well as leading sponsors JP Morgan Chase and PNC Bank, we aim to reshape the economic trajectory of Latinos. That is the power of HOME (Home Ownership Means Equity).

Building HOMEownership Dreams

The initial phase of HOME, our campaign to empower Latinos economically by creating 4 million new Hispanic homeowners by 2030, began in five markets: Phoenix, AZ; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Orlando, FL; and Stockton, CA. These communities with large Latino populations represent tremendous opportunities for prospective homebuyers and builders. The initiative will continue to expand into other states across the country through future cohorts, as we leverage more than 25 years of experience building solutions that advocate for and enable access to affordable homeownership and economic mobility for Latinos.

Snapshot of HOME’s Markets:

  • Phoenix, AZ: For eight consecutive years, the Latino homeownership rate in Phoenix has seen consistent growth. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of Latino homeowners in the Phoenix metro area surged by over 13%, a rate nearly three times higher than that of non-Latinos. This underscores why Chicanos Por La Causa makes an ideal Affiliate partner—they have a proven track record of providing Latinos in Phoenix and statewide in Arizona with services in home lending, homelessness, renting, homeownership and utility assistance.
  • Chicago, IL: As part of the Chicago HOME launch, UnidosUS hosted a trolley tour through Chicago’s historic South side during our 2023 Annual Conference. The Resurrection Project, one of five Affiliates in the HOME Chicago market, led the attendees through the neighborhoods of Pilsen, Back of the Yards, Archer Heights, and Brighton Park. Notably, three of these neighborhoods boast Latino populations of 65% or higher, making them optimal locations for the HOME initiative. Our local Affiliate partner organizations also include Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Northwest Center, Gads Hill Center and the Spanish Coalition for Housing.
  • Houston, TX: Houston saw the third-highest growth in new Latino homeowners in 2021-2022, with a net increase of nearly 60,000 homeowner households. However, high housing prices and low inventory threaten this progress. At the same time, Hispanic prospective buyers are more likely to have their home loan applications denied. In collaboration with our Affiliate organization, Tejano Center for Community Concerns, we convened a roundtable of thought leaders and social advocates to inaugurate HOME in Houston. The discussion delved into the policy reforms and systemic changes needed to foster an equitable housing system and facilitate more opportunities for prospective Latino homeowners.
  • Orlando, FL: Orlando, with its burgeoning Hispanic population, presents promising indicators of Latino economic advancement. Between 2010 and 2020, Florida’s Latino population accounted for over half (53.8%) of the state’s total population growth, but Hispanic homeownership has only increased by 11%. To address this gap, we have partnered with local Afiliates Centro de Ayuda Hispana and Housing and Education Alliance to bring the HOME initiative to fruition for Latino homeowners in Orlando. Through collaboration with local partners including nonprofit advocacy organizations, government officials, and academia, we will continue to find tangible solutions to address the systemic barriers that are driving disparities in Latino wealth and homeownership.
  • Stockton, CA: As California's largest racial and ethnic group, Latino residents have made substantial contributions to the increase in homeownership rates statewide, particularly in the Central Valley. Collaborating with Visionary Home Builders of California—a local UnidosUS Affiliate organization dedicated to serving rural communities, farmworkers, and commuters to Silicon Valley—as well as our Affiliates El Concilio and Self-Help Enterprises, we are establishing local pathways for homeownership.
Happy couple show off keys to their new home.

While Progress is Underway, Gaps Remain

  • The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that in 2022, Latino homeownership stood at 48.7%, notably lower than the 76.6% rate among white homeowners.
  • In 2021, more than one in three Latino renters cited insufficient savings for a down payment as their main barrier to entering the housing market, according to the Hispanic Wealth Project.
  • Latinos tend to have higher debt-to-income ratios compared to white mortgage applicants. This is partly because many Latinos work in lower-paying sectors and reside in expensive housing markets.
  • Latinos, on average, are younger and more likely to be first-time homebuyers. However, the availability of affordable starter homes in the U.S. housing market has been steadily declining, according to National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).

When considering these obstacles, Latinos in cities across the country continue to face challenges in achieving their dream of owning a home. The FDIC notes that Hispanics experience higher rates of loan denial.

And when approved, they often encounter higher interest rates compared to non-Hispanic whites, even when factors such as credit score, loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios are taken into account.

To achieve our ambitious goals, UnidosUS is strategically leveraging our partnerships with Affiliates to support homebuyer readiness, expand credit access and increase housing supply. And with your support, and the engagement of leading sponsors including Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and PNC Bank, we will continue to break down barriers and make homeownership a reality for more Latino families.

The Transformative Impact of HOME

For three decades, Patricia Garcia Duarte has been a fearless advocate for homeowners and currently leads homeownership initiatives at Chicanos Por La Causa. As one of our original seven UnidosUS Affiliates, and a historic Arizona nonprofit with accredited housing and financial services programs, CPLC is an ideal partner for launching our HOME initiative.

Learn more about Patricia’s journey and discover why CPLC stands out as our partner in Phoenix: “Her parents were homeowners on a meager salary. How does Arizona ensure that now?” (AZ Central)

HOME Impact at a Glance:

Nationally rolled out HOME in Washington, D.C., followed by launches in five local markets.

Established thought leadership through op-eds in Bloomberg CityLab, Arizona Republic, Vida en el Valle/Fresno Bee, and Orlando Sentinel.

Generated headlines through earned media coverage in national and regional outlets such as Axios, Bloomberg, NPR, San Francisco Business Times, Arizona Republic, Univision, and Telemundo.

Strengthened relationships with key policymakers, including Rep. Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Rep. Darren Soto (FL-9), Rep. Maxwell Frost (FL-10), and Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ).

Uniquely positioned to drive change, UnidosUS leverages its reputation and expertise across programs, policy, community outreach and national partnerships. Our HOME initiative champions systemic change, employs effective communications strategies, tests and scales solutions, makes targeted investments and conducts research and data analysis to create lasting impact.

Check out unidosus.org for more information on UnidosUS’s housing and financial empowerment initiatives.

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