With No Affordable Housing, Jobs Go Unfilled

construction hard hat housing development

Open jobs sit unfilled for months at a time in McKinney, Texas (19.24% Latino). Retail, restaurants, and construction businesses can't find workers. The cause? The people who can fill those jobs can't afford to live in McKinney—the average home price is $340,000. "Just think about the salary it takes to afford a house like that, and then to maintain it. You just can't do it," McKinney Mayor George Fuller told Channel 5 NBC. "You can get a job, but you can't afford housing." Affordable housing is a rising need in many large and growing cities across the nation. San Antonio, for example, recently started an affordable housing task force to address its own shortage. San Antonio City Council member Shirley Gonzales is leading a push in her district, too. Heck, even Eva ...

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Shirley Gonzales and Her Amazing Push to Revitalize Housing in Historic San Antonio

When San Antonio native Shirley Gonzales earned a business degree years ago, she immediately went to work to find new locations to expand her family's local business, Bill's Pawn Shop. Gonzales studied the city's historic, largely Latino Westside. She loved the area so much, she moved her family there. But she found it hard to navigate the city’s complex procedures for opening and expanding businesses—an experience that eventually led her to run for, and earn, a seat on the San Antonio City Council. Now Gonzales is pushing to revitalize business on the Westside and helping residents find better, more affordable homes to live in, too. “There is so much about this community that is good,” Gonzales said. “It has great history, great people living here, strong ...

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San Antonio Steps Up to Help Babies, Prevent SIDS

No parent should have to face the sheer agony of losing a baby. But it happened to Servando Salinas and Roxanne Alvarez. The San Antonio parents recently spent time at a relative's house. So Salinas and Alvarez had their eight-month-old daughter, Heaven, sleep in bed with them. When Salinas woke up, he noticed Heaven was not breathing. They called EMS, but the baby was pronounced dead at the scene, according to FOX-29. “I couldn't move. I couldn't stand. I was crying so much,” Salinas told Fox-29. Sadly, in two San Antonio zip codes—mostly Latino 78203 and 78220—Latina mothers have the highest infant death rates in the state, says a UT System study. That's why we are glad to see that San Antonio leaders, health advocates, parents, and groups are stepping up to ...

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Could You Cover a $1,000 Emergency?

latino man contruction worker falling off ladder

Life happens. Would you be able to come up with $1,000 for an emergency like a car wreck, a broken arm, or a busted air conditioner? Sadly, 61% of Latino and all Americans say they could not pay for an unplanned emergency expense, according to a report by financial site Bankrate. “Even though unemployment is down and there's been a recent uptick in wages, we aren't seeing the needle move savings,” said Greg McBride of Bankrate told CNN Money. Unexpected bills and expenses aren’t uncommon. More than 30% of all U.S. households had at least one unplanned expense in 2017. But most Americans don’t have an ability to cover it. Almost one in five Americans said they would put the expense on a credit card, Bankrate reports. This usually makes the expense even higher in ...

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Report: 3.6 Million DREAMers Are in the U.S.

Update on April 25, 2018: A federal judge orders the U.S. government to continue Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and accept new applicants, according to the Washington Post. Immigration is a politically divisive issue. It can be hard to keep in mind that real people are affected, no matter what your political views. People's livelihoods began to hang in the balance in September 2017 when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would be rescinding the DACA. DACA is an Obama administration program begun in 2012 that allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to apply to defer deportation and legally reside in the country for two years. They can apply for reinstatement after. How many ...

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Latina Celebrity Pushes for Affordable Housing


The link between housing and health is undeniable. Many Latinos and other minorities lack affordable housing options in their big-city neighborhoods, which impacts everything from their overall health to their education and income. Latina philanthropist and actress Eva Longoria is pushing for more affordable housing. Longoria recently visited San Antonio, Texas (68% Latino) to discuss the topic and tour an affordable housing complex being remodeled by Turner Impact Capital. The group improves apartments with affordable rent in densely populated and ethnically diverse urban areas, according to the San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio is expected to have a large, impending affordable housing shortage, studies show. “A lot of this shortage of workforce housing happens ...

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U.S. City to Give Residents $500/Month Income, No Strings Attached

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs universal basic income

At times, almost all families need a little help with money. Providing that help is the idea behind "universal basic income," which would make everyone in a certain place eligible to receive a regular monthly stipend from a collected pool of money. The 42% Latino city of Stockton, Calif, will soon be the first major U.S. city to test it out for real. The city will start an experimental program in fall 2018 that will give dozens of families $500 a month—with the proverbial “no strings attached"—for at least several years depending on how long the funding lasts. The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) program will provide income to participants to help cover basic living expenses. The median household income in Stockton is $44,797, which is well below ...

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Shocking Reasons Why 100,000 San Antonio Adults Haven’t Passed 9th Grade

San Antonio is the nation's seventh-largest city, a dynamic modern powerhouse steeped in Latino culture and history. Yet more than 100,000 adults here haven't passed ninth grade. An in-depth article by Lily Casura of HuffPost recently took a deep dive into the state of education in the city, which noted "exceptionally low" high-school graduation rates in certain parts of the city. Casura's article notes that 300,000 San Antonio adults overall (20% of the city's population) are not high-school graduates. Four San Antonio ZIP Codes (two on its east side and two on its west side) have emerged as “the highest-hardship areas of the city,” she wrote. About 110,000 people live in these four ZIP Codes (78202, 78203, 78207, and 78237) and more than half have not completed ninth ...

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Latino City Creates Task Force to Boost Affordable Housing

The need for affordable housing is rising in many big cities across the United States. That includes San Antonio (68% Latino). The city is facing an affordable housing shortage of 142,000 units, while median sale prices for homes rose above $200,000 for the first time in 2016, The Rivard Report indicates. That's why first-term Mayor Ron Nirenberg created a Housing Policy Task Force to help address the current and future affordable housing need. “We have to face up to the fact that the housing paradigm in San Antonio must change,” said Nirenberg told The Rivard Report. “We need to protect and connect neighborhoods and make incredible growth, and expand housing choices for our residents, no matter what their income.” The Task Force, which held its first public ...

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