In spite of high Southern California real estate prices in comparison to other parts of the country, Latinos in Riverside are tied with those in San Antonio (at 58 percent) as the most likely to own a home in the nation's top ten largest Latino population areas. Both regions are topped by McAllen, Texas, however, where 68 percent of Latinos live in their own homes. Perhaps not surprisingly, New York - followed by Los Angeles and San Francisco - have the lowest rates of Latino homeownership.

Fluctuations in rent and mortgage, however, can put families in economically precarious situations.  This is especially true for seniors living on a fixed budget without options to increase their income.  According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Census data, in counties where Latinos make up more than 25% of the population, banks have repossessed 6.7 homes per 1,000 residents since January 1, 2006, compared with 4.6 repossessed homes per 1,000 residents in all counties.

The gains in housing Hispanic families made were greatly diminished by the current economic downturn. As a result, more Latinos households now live in substandard and overcrowded rental housing than five years ago.

Census data has shown that Latinos are living in smaller and more crowded housing than the overall population.  In fact, 10% of Hispanics live in overcrowded conditions, compared to 2% for the general population. This puts Hispanic seniors living on low, fixed incomes particularly at risk.