National Council of La Raza & Center for Community Capital at the University of North Carolina (UNC)
This report examines the major impacts of the economic downturn on Latino children and families, specifically the effects of the housing bust in communities of color, whose members were more likely to have mortgages most at risk of foreclosure.
Interviews with 25 Latino families covered five areas: family stability and relationships; health status and lifestyle; academic performance and behavior of children; family financial security; and plans for the future.
Families reported that relationships deteriorated as many families depended heavily on family and friends for housing and money. Stress and tension increased as day-to-day living became more difficult.
Parents reported more anxiety and sadness in their children as families had to relocate homes and schools. Many members of these families also skipped taking critical medication to save money.
Children had difficulty adapting to new school environments. Commutes became longer and more complex for some families. Families also saw a drop in their children’s academic performance.
Unaffordable mortgages, unemployment, loss of assets and falling prey to lender scams led families to financial instability and a difficult process of digging themselves out.
Through the challenges of the housing crisis, many families reported a changed outlook on long-term finances, some abandoning the thought of ever owning a home again and some still hopeful for a similar kind of success in the future.
Recommendations on stabilizing interventions and policy interventions are given by the authors.
Free, 55 pages. http://www.nclr.org/content/publications/download/61725.