Housing by Ethnicity Overview
A note about language: Throughout the Gap Analysis we are using the language used by the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS). For example, ethnicity in the ACS is categorized as ‘Hispanic or Latino’ and ‘Not Hispanic or Latino’ and is reported separately from race. Latino is used to reflect Latino, Latina, and Latinx. We recognize these are imperfect terms for complex and intersecting identities.
There are almost 115,000 Hispanic households in the Tucson MSA, making up 29.1% of all households. This is a 14.5% increase in Hispanic households counted in the 2013 5-year ACS. In this study, a Hispanic household is one where the primary ACS respondent self-identified as Hispanic or Latino.
A recent renter versus owner analysis on the MAP dashboard found that more than half of Hispanic or Latino households in Tucson (55.1%) own their home, higher than the national percentage of 44.7% for that ethnic category. In comparison, White, non-Hispanic and non-Latino households in the Tucson MSA have a 68.6% homeownership rate.
35.6% of Hispanic households in the Tucson MSA, almost 41,000 households, are at or below 50% area median income for 4 people. The table below details the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 2018 Area Median Income (AMI) Limits for a four-person household, which is the HUD baseline household. According to the 2018 5-year ACS, the actual median income for a 4-person family in the Tucson MSA was $71,450.
HUD 2018 AMI Limits (4-person household)
|Income Category||AMI Percentage||AMI Income Ranges|
|Extremely Low||0% - 30%||$0 - $18,180|
|Very Low||30% - 50%||$18,180 - $30,300|
|Low||50% - 80%||$30,300 - $48,480|
|Low to Moderate||80% - 120%||$48,480 - $72,720|
|Moderate to High||more than 120%||> $72,720|
Low-Income Hispanic Households by Census Tract
The geographic distribution of those lower income Hispanic households are shown below. There are nine Census tracts where between 60%-80% of Hispanic households have an annual income classified as very low or extremely low income (below 50% AMI) by HUD. According to the Neighborhood Vulnerability Index, nearly all of these tracts with a large percentage of very low income Hispanic households are classified as vulnerable in some way, whereas a couple of the tracts are classified as not vulnerable. This geographic distribution is very similar to the distribution of lower income older adult households, suggesting that housing location is more a function of income than ethnicity or age.
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Income is not the only factor determining difficulty in finding affordable housing. ACS data unfortunately does not calculate household housing cost burden based on race or ethnicity. However, the data tells us two things based on a median household income of $42,035 for Hispanic households in Tucson:
1. Median housing cost with a mortgage in the Tucson MSA is $1,297/month, requiring a gross income of $51,880 to keep spending on housing at or below an affordable level of 30% of household income. This means that more than half of Hispanic households in the Tucson MSA are likely to be housing cost burdened if they pay a mortgage on a home with typical housing costs.
2. Median housing cost while renting in the Tucson MSA is $885/month, requiring a gross income of $35,400 to spend less than 30% of household income on housing. This means that around 40% of Hispanic households in the Tucson MSA are likely to be housing cost burdened if they rent a home with typical housing costs.
Housing Assistance for Hispanic Households
There are a number of housing assistance programs available in the Tucson MSA. The table below shows the number of housing assistance units currently occupied by Hispanic households. There not as much information about ethnicity or race in the housing assistance data as there is about age demographics (on the Older Adults page). LIHTC simply does not categorize data by ethnicity or race. Section 202 is a program specifically for seniors and also does not categorize data by ethnicity or race. The available data shows that 53.1% of public housing recipients and 45.5% of Housing Choice Voucher recipients are Hispanic households.
Hispanic Households Using Housing Assistance
|Type of Assistance||Units Occupied by Hispanic Households|
|Housing Choice Voucher||2,469|
|Low Income Public Housing||825|
Hispanic Households by Census Tract
Census tracts with high percentages of Hispanic households are generally located on the western and southwestern areas of the Tucson MSA, in Ward 1 and Ward 5.