The Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Center for the Study of Los Angeles gave housing market opportunities for Latinos in Los Angeles County a “D” grade in the “2006 Latino Scorecard ñ Road to Action,” a publication released by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles Tuesday, January 31st.

An update of a study published in 2003, the “2006 Latino Scorecard” tracks how Latinos living in Los Angeles stand in five key areas — health, education, economic development, public safety, and housing.

“The Latino Scorecard is both a resource and a call to action for civic, social, and business leaders to change Los Angeles institutions to better serve the Latino community,” said Fernando Guerra, director of the LMU Center for the Study of Los Angeles.

Guerra, who is also an LMU professor of political science and Chicana/o studies, spearheaded the housing research alongside associates Matt Barreto, Mara Marks, and Donald Morgan.

The team gave the housing industry an overall “D” grade on the basis of four components — accessibility, availability, affordability, and quality — revealing that there has been no significant improvement since the last study.

Although Latinos have risen into the middle class, the study indicates that this achievement is not reflected in the home ownership rates.

In comparison to other ethnic groups, Latino levels of home ownership are low, few receive new home loans, and many tend to live in small, overcrowded, deteriorating housing units.

According to the study, in order to promote the quality of life for the region’s largest ethnic subgroup, policies must be prioritized to address the issue.

Some of the policy recommendations proposed include building more houses, improving access to capital and loans, promoting inclusionary housing, and enforcing current municipal codes without taking units off the market.

A copy of the full report can be obtained from the LMU Center for the Study of Los Angeles Web site at www.lmu.edu/csla

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