Housing by Race

Housing by Race 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. This tab focuses on Housing by Race. See the previous tab, ‘Housing by Ethnicity’ to see housing related data for the Tucson MSA Hispanic population.

There are just over 76,000 households of color in the Tucson MSA, making up 19.0% of all households. This is a 19.8% increase in the absolute number of minority households compared to the 2013 5-year ACS, but only 2.4% increase as a percentage of households in the Tucson MSA.

In this study, a minority household is one where the primary ACS respondent self-identified as belonging to one of these Census designated race categories: Black, American Indian/Alaska Native (Native American), Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI), Some Other Race, or Two or More Races, irrespective of ethnicity. Since the Census clearly delineates race in the categories above from ethnicity, this analysis is focused on those households that self-identify in a Census race category and does not include data for those that identify as white Hispanic (discussed in detail on the Housing by Ethnicity page). Please see this MAP dashboard article for a detailed discussion of Census race and ethnicity categories.

A recent renter versus owner analysis on the MAP dashboard found that any minority household in the Tucson MSA is less likely to own their home than either White-alone households or Hispanic households. Black households were the least likely, with 36.3% living in owner-occupied homes, which is more than the national percentage of 41.8% for that race category. Asian households had the highest homeownership rate among minority groups, at 52.7% in the Tucson MSA, compared to white-alone households at 68.6% and Hispanic households at 55.1% homeownership.

All Census designated race categories, except Asian, in the Tucson MSA had a median group income in the low income range (50-80% area median income for 4 people); Asian household median income was $51,116 while Native American household median income was the lowest at $32,331. 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 (a detailed table can be found on the Housing by Ethnicity page). According to the 2018 5-year ACS, the actual median income for a 4-person family in the Tucson MSA was $71,450.

Communities of Color in Tucson

Community Percent of total households Median income
Black 3.2% $41,978
Native American 2.9% $32,331
Asian 2.7% $51,116
NHOPI .01% $40,160
Some Other Race 7.1% $39,151
Two or More Races 3.0% $47,661

Low-Income Minority Households

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 incomes for community of color households in the Tucson MSA:

1. Median housing cost with a mortgage in the Tucson MSA is $1297/month, requiring a gross income of $51,880 to spend less than 30% of household income on housing. This means that among all the minority groups in the Tucson MSA, more than half of households have the potential to be housing cost burdened if they pay a mortgage on their home.

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 more than half of American Indian/Alaska Native households in the Tucson MSA have the potential to be housing cost burdened if they rent a home, while less than half of households in all other race groups have that same housing cost burden potential.

Housing Assistance for Households of Color

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 minority households. There not as much information about race or ethnicity in the housing assistance data as there is about age demographics (on the Older Adults page). LIHTC does not categorize data by race or ethnicity. Section 202 is a program specifically for seniors and also does not categorize data by race or ethnicity. The available data shows that 22.0% of public housing recipients and 22.7% of Housing Choice Voucher recipients are from non-White households.

Households of Color Using Housing Assistance

Type of Assistance Units Occupied by Households of Color
Housing Choice Voucher 1,266
Low Income Public Housing 342
Total 1,608

Minority Households by Census Tract

Census tracts with high percentages of minority households are generally located in the far western areas of the Tucson MSA, outside of City of Tucson. The darkest blue tracts, with more than 80% minority households, are mainly Native American households.

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