Things That Matter

Why Latinos Can’t Afford Rent

Everyone in the U.S. went through hard times during the recession that peaked in 2009 with the housing market crash. And while the economy is slowly recovering, Latino millennials are not buying houses anytime soon.

Trulia, the real estate listing site, recently posed this question: “Who Lost the American Dream?” To no one’s surprise, the answer seems to be: Latino millennials.

During the recession, five percent of the population become renters rather than homeowners and “Hispanics became renters at a rate greater than any other ethnic group,” Trulia says.

READ: Thanks to Mexicans, Los Angeles has the Sunset Strip

“Not only are the percentage of renters increasing, so are the rents – which have risen faster than incomes,” Trulia stated. “Average rents in the top 50 markets have risen 22.3 percent while incomes nationally fell 5.8 percent in the nine years since 2006.”

So with incomes being low and housing prices increasing, the coveted “American Dream” seems more like a mirage than dreamlike.

Read more about the prolonged housing crisis from the LA Weekly here.

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This Heartbreaking Story About A Latino Dad And His Family Being Booted From Their Home Amid The Covid-19 Eviction Crisis Will Make You Tear Up For An Unexpected Reason

Things That Matter

This Heartbreaking Story About A Latino Dad And His Family Being Booted From Their Home Amid The Covid-19 Eviction Crisis Will Make You Tear Up For An Unexpected Reason

CNN/ Youtube

The United States is currently facing yet another pandemic related crisis that new research says could put 30-40 million Americans out of their homes by the end of the year.

The Covid-19 eviction crisis has already seen millions of people booted from their homes no thanks to a lack of federal intervention. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, twenty-nine to forty-three percent of renters could be at risk of eviction by the end of the year.

Israel Rodriguez is just one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have not been able to pay their rent because of the current pandemic and thus evicted from their homes.

Last week, his eviction story went viral and tugged at the heartstrings of thousands who watched.

Rodriguez’s eviction story saw him and his young family kicked out of their home and on the streets.

CNN featured Rodriguez in a video interview last week that saw him, his wife, and two boys (one is 4-years-old and the other just 20-months old) evicted from their home in the Houston, Texas area.

“It’s my fault on the eviction. It was a lot going on there in the corona. When it hit, I lost my job,” Rodriguez told CNN while he was being evicted from his home. “It took me like a month to get another job. This is my check. I haven’t been, I ain’t making it with $300. It is literally $300.”

“We ain’t got nowhere to go,” Rodriguez added. “They didn’t rush us, but they was like, ‘Get everything you need.'”

Soon after his eviction, officers in the precinct area set up a GoFundMe account in his name. Already it has raised $67,853 out of its $12,000 goal.

“I’m not the only one struggling,” Rodriguez stated in a news conference set up by Harris County Precinct 1’s Constable Alan Rosen. “But it’s the best thing to ever happen to me, to make a better change in life.”

Since originally being featured in a story by CNN, Rodriguez says that his family has received financial support from all over the world. He says that the help comes in a large part thanks to the constable whose office was given a court order to serve the eviction papers.

“I’m learning to be a better person,” Rodriguez told CNN about how the situation has humbled and changed him.

According to CNN, Rodriguez and his family are currently living in a hotel and are “working to obtain more permanent housing, with support from Rosen’s agency and other groups. Rodriguez also said he’s gotten job offers, vowing to get to work once he finds his new home.”

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control announced eviction bans.

The move was not effective in time to help Rodriguez and others like him from being kicked out of their homes. Current eviction bans allow residents to avoid being removed from their homes for not paying rent if they are able to prove that their inability to do so is related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Rental assistance, I want Houstonians and people in Harris County to know, is still available. There is no longer a deadline to apply. We have decided we will leave the enrollment open. It will remain open until all funds have been expended,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said Houston’s COVID-19 rental assistance program last week.

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Your Abuela Invented The Hustle But Young Latinos Are Remaking It For A New Generation

Culture

Your Abuela Invented The Hustle But Young Latinos Are Remaking It For A New Generation

Alexasunshine83 / Instagram

Conyó, mein, the hustle is so real for our generation. Just as real is social media culture and presenting an Internet version of ourselves to everyone else’s Internet self. While we’re not trying to glamorize selling our plasma eight times a month (that hustle is real), we are excellent at making surviving look like thriving.

By no means did we invent the hustle. Our abuelos were smuggling in homemade food to the movie theaters long before the 2008 recession as a point of pride. We’ve grown up judging the bobos around us carrying designer bags when the knock offs are just as good. Our family has been hustling for so long to give us a better life, but this isn’t what they had in mind.

Our generation’s version of what’s a socially acceptable way to thrive is either a point of pride or shame for our parents, with no in between.

1. Freelancing

@lubosvolkov / Instagram

According to a Pew Research study, half of millennials have a side hustle. Given that we grew up coding for our Myspace and Neopets’ pages, that tech-savvy instinct is helping us make extra money on the side in building websites, web design, blog writing and more.

Some of us are freelancing full time and the padres are still asking us, years later, if we’ve found a job yet. “Yes?” We’ve made our home offices look Instagram sterile, but the reality is we’re working from our couches in our piyamas.

2. Thrifting

@alexasunshine83 / Instagram

While Latinos grew up wearing their prima’s hand-me-down’s, the rest of Millennials are valuing a solid thrift find higher than dropping $1k on a Kanye West ripped up white camiseta. While our parents hoped we’d grow up one day to buy business suits and new clothes, we’re learning to hem and repair thrift finds because we’re resourceful like that. We have no shame and only gains when it comes to thrifting.

3. #VanLife

@naturechola / Instagram

Y’all, some of us are technically homeless and loving it. When viejos tell us to just put half our income in savings, we’re like, “que que?” Rising rent costs has most of us giving up half our income to rent, making it near impossible to save up for practical things (like homes) or even a vacation.

Instagram angel Nature Chola combines the two with #FakeVanLife. Since we’re too broke for hotel rooms, she’s just added a foam mattress to the trunk of her SUV and gets those ocean views for the cost of the gas to get you there. Would our abuelos think this glamorous? Probably not, but this dream is attainable for our generation and we’re here for it.

4. Camping

@danimarzdesign / Instagram

In a similar vein, we’re not affording international vacations or even weekend getaways. I picked up camping as a hobby because it costs $6 a night and was the cheapest way to get out of the city and get some R&R in. Are my parents horrified? Yes. Do I care? Absolutamente not.

5. Dog Sitting

@thatssofetch.pet / Instagram

We can’t afford that gorgeous Frenchie of our dreams so we’re dog sitting instead and featuring them on the feed. The ideal pet sitting gig is one that gets you out of your apartment with three roommates and into a house with real live A/C. Dog sitting is mostly poop scooping and wiping slobber off casi todo, but that photogenic face deserves all the limelight. Plus, we get the puppy cuddles we wish we could afford all to ourselves.

6. Motorcycles

@bella_biker / Instagram

Have any of us sold our eggs to buy a motorcycle? Maybe. Millennials are delaying car ownership as we try to pay off student debt. Motorcycles, on the other hand, cost just a few thousand dollars to own y ya. #ProudParents

7. Potlucks in the Park

@romangineer / Instagram

Try to organize any kind of gathering at a restaurant and it’s going to suck. Splitting bills can be anxiety-provoking and nobody wants to save money by eating a salad. Thankfully, the “potluck” is just how Latinos normally eat, and we’ve got it down right. The aerial food photography aesthetic, not so much.

8. Cafecito en la casa

@gabe_media / Instagram

While it might be a nice treat to take abuela to Starguacs, we are absolutely not paying for someone else to make our coffee. Plus Café Bustelo has a stellar aesthetic. ????

9. Protesting for Equal Rights

@danimarzdesign / Instagram

We are insanely busy hustling and trying to survive in this economy. That’s why we make time to protest to demand a $15 minimum wage, freedom from sexual harassment in the workplace, free college and healthcare for all.

Beneath all the glamour, we’re tired of having to hustle this hard to live #debtfree and move up in the world. So we protest, we fight for our futures, and we still look good doing it.

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