American Dream No Longer Includes Homeownership

NEW YORK (MainStreet) – The U.S. Latino population is the fastest growing ethnic group in the country, but that may not be good news for the U.S. housing market – or Hispanic people.

A new study shows that less than half all Latinos say they can afford to buy a home, so there’s a lot on the line for the housing market if Hispanics feel they don’t have a good shot at the homeownership aspect of the American Dream. After all, the 2010 Census found that more than 50% of U.S. population growth comes from the Hispanic portion of the population.

A new study released by impreMedia notes there are “serious fears” expressed by Hispanics about their ability to own a home. The study points a direct finger at the three-year-old U.S. housing crisis, as 51% of all study respondents told impreMedia that they had used up all their savings to pay for their rent or existing mortgage. Even more telling, another 40% said they don’t see owning a home as a key component to the vaunted American Dream.

“Renters and homeowners alike are draining their savings,” says Monica Lozano, CEO of impreMedia. “They are likely feeling a high level of anxiety over their ability to maintain their housing, and most people surveyed expressed approval for stronger action by state and federal governments with regards to the housing market.”

Study participants do favor government intervention from the U.S. government to make buying a home easier: 83% of those surveyed said they approved of a federal government tax credit for new homebuyers, and another 75% said they support the idea of the government stepping in and providing mortgage assistance to homeowners who lose their jobs.

Unsurpsingly, most (87%) of respondents said that banks and lenders need to offer loan documents in both English and Spanish.

What the impreMedia poll didn’t cover is the federal government’s ability, via the tax code, to shell out any more cash for new homebuyers and out-of-work homeowners. No doubt, both are worthy causes, but the debate in Washington right now isn’t about how much money government can spend, but how much money government can cut.

Increasingly, homebuyers and homeowners of all political, ethnic and economic stripes are on their own when it comes to buying (or saving) their homes.

In that regard, the impreMedia survey is right on the money: Owning a home isn’t part of the American Dream for Hispanics and by extension, a lot of other Americans.

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