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Ethnographic Studies of Homeownership and Home Mortgage Financing: An Introduction
Vol. 3, No. 1, Ethnicity and Homeownership (March 1997), pp. 1-11
Published by: US Department of Housing and Urban Development
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20868447
Page Count: 11
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Expanding homeownership opportunities for American immigrants and minorities requires an understanding of the constraints that individuals and families face when they make decisions about homeownership and when they take actions directed toward homeownership. To acquire a better understanding of the process, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Fannie Mae sponsored a research project that focused on the way minority and immigrant households make the transition from renting to owning their own homes. This article introduces the four studies, the first to apply ethnographic field methods to the study of homeownership. After a discussion of the project's history and research methods, the article highlights four types of barriers that prevent many minority and immigrant families from becoming homeowners. The barriers are: lack of appropriate, affordable housing; limitations of existing financing tools; lack of home purchasing knowledge, credit knowledge, and credit judgment; and cultural gaps, biases, and misunderstandings.
Cityscape © 1997 US Department of Housing and Urban Development