Hispanic Heritage Month marks the time frame when people in the U.S. honor the achievements, contributions, and heritage of Hispanic and Latinx communities. At Habitat Metro Denver, we are proud to celebrate the Hispanic and Latinx team members, partners, and homeowners who make our community better and move our mission forward each day. If you’re new to the celebration, or curious about homeownership for Hispanic and Latinx communities, read on!
A Hispanic Heritage holiday in the U.S. started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. The holiday now runs from September 15th to October 15th. September 15th was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of the independence of five Hispanic countries. Throughout this month of celebration, Latinx community members and friends honor their cultural contributions through festivals, art, music, storytelling, traditional food, and more.
Habitat Metro Denver is committed to expanding homeownership access in our community, and we continue to advocate for policies that increase and broaden access to affordable homeownership for Latinx families.
Latino families own homes at a much lower rate than white families do in Colorado and nationwide. According to the National Association of Realtors, 63% of white Americans can afford to buy a market-rate home nationwide compared to 54% of Latinos. The homeownership gaps have narrowed in the last decade between Latino and white Coloradans – from 21 percentage points in 2010 to 18 percentage points in 2020. But more can be done to ensure Latinx families have access to homeownership.
Hispanic/Latinx households also face unique barriers to homeownership and its beneficial outcomes. Homeownership is a catalyst for wealth building, improved health, and higher educational attainment. Historically, Latinx communities have faced structural and institutional obstacles – such as financing discrimination, limited representation, and debt – that have compounded over time to produce inequities in housing access. Homeownership is one of the primary means of accumulating generational wealth, and closing the homeownership gap for Latinx communities is a keyway to supporting this community as a whole.
Local elections are coming up throughout Metro Denver in November. The Colorado Latino Policy Agenda found that the rising cost of living is the number one issue Latino voters want both the state and federal government to address. Please register and vote in your local elections. Look for policies that increase access to housing and homeownership for people in our communities.