Housing Community for Latino
When any family spends more than 30% of its income on paying for housing, such expense is perceived as unaffordable because it puts such family in a vulnerable position during hard economic times. The burden of high-priced housing among the Latino community in the U.S. has put a strain on meeting the basic needs that include food, medical cover, as well as education. To eradicate the problem of housing among the Latino families, the rural housing coalition in Prince Georges County in Maryland has come up with a proposal to establish a housing complex that would enhance the living standards of the community. However, this proposal has encountered a cataclysm from the opposition groups, who are apprehensive of the growth of the Latino community.
Social Problem of Housing Community for Latino Families
The Latino population is growing at a rapid rate; hence, it is imperative for the state governments and other social planners to understand how to serve this population effectively. The 1980s immigration trend brought a massive wave of the Latinos in Maryland, and their population has continued to grow rapidly owing to international migration and high birth rate (Akintayo, 2013). However, most Latinos are undocumented immigrants, who experience marginalization due to housing conditions. Most families lack decent housing environment because they earn low income, which cannot allow them to secure better houses. This condition has led to sharing of shelter, sharing of cost incurred in renting houses, and overcrowding of families.
The Latino community has also faced racism and discrimination as a minority group. The dominant white community blames the Latino community for creating pressure in the provision of state resources. Offering the Latino community cheap houses and other amenities is likely to be treated with contempt by the majority whites, who feel that the Latinos are benefiting from their share of resources yet they do not pay taxes. The dominant whites believe that the project is likely to trigger more settlements for illegal immigrants, which encroaches the white majority residents.
The study of offering housing to the Latino community can be viewed from the Marxism perspective, where class relations are analyzed based on material interpretation of historical progress, as well as social transformation. The Marxist approach asserts that class conflict emerge within a capitalist society when a few people (or the bourgeoisie) own most resources while the majority are denied access to such resources. The Latinos have little or no access to state resources due to lack of documentation, and are compelled to sell their labor power to the dominant group, which controls most of the state resources.
Public sector agencies usually neglect the minority communities by denying them the opportunity to expand their wealth. Lenders have been hesitant to support the Latino community because they perceive them as incapable of paying their loans. Lack of loans has made the community to lag behind in terms of building wealth and enhancing property value. Additionally, lack of financial resources among the Latino community has made it more vulnerable to social disorders and distress, which consequently increase crime rates in the neighborhoods (Turner & Rawlings, 2009).
Assumptions of Marxism
Marxists assumed that the correct interpretation of life in this universe is focusing on material wealth, which is often controlled by a few people in society. The state resources tend to be controlled by the dominant class, which decides on how to exploit the vulnerable classes. The dominant class is against community housing, which is likely to make the life of the Latinos livable. In addition, distributing more resources to the Latino families would trigger an increase in their number, which could reduce the power of manipulating them.
The state acts as a mechanism of oppression, which is manipulated by the dominant group to exploit the minority groups. A proposal that intends to benefit the minority group is likely to fail because the majority group would prefer to continue exploiting the weak in society. According to the Marxist theory, exploitation of the working class can only be halted by defeating capitalism. In this connection, the Latino community can improve its economic situation through forming unions and organizations that seek equality in the distribution of state resources.
Marxism assumes that rights are awarded based on the wealth, where private owners continue possessing means of production. This form of ownership creates contradiction, crisis, as well as impoverishment of the workers. Building a community housing project for the Latino families will offer them an opportunity for education, which would make them understand their rights and seek jobs that require qualified personnel. The dominant whites believe that the Latino community should not be awarded rights because it lacks class and relies entirely on them for its protection.
Marxists are adamant that a new society will emerge, which will take the form of communism, when capitalism is defeated. The new society will be classless and stateless, where no coercion will be exercised. The establishment of such society will represent a victory is the search for democracy. The proposal by the rural housing coalition in Prince Georges County intends to achieve this form of society, despite facing barriers from the mainstream group.
Recommendations on Community Housing for Latino
The proposal for community housing for the Latinos should focus on the micro, mezzo, and macro practices to promote cohesion. In the micro level, the social workers should engage the families of the Latinos by striving to understand their individual problems. They should attempt to explain to the Latino families how community housing would benefit them socially and economically. Setting up of offices where individuals can seek assistance can help in motivating them to work hard and become independent.
In the mezzo level, the relevant authority should focus on the management of a particular group with the Latino community, based on its location or region. State agencies can also collaborate with private agencies to assist the community to embrace community housing, which in turn would enhance diversity and improve business. Community problems can be dealt with through policy, research, and social work education. Most Latinos are uneducated and lack skills that can enable them earn higher income. Thus, encouraging families to enroll in educational institutions is vital for communication and economic development. Social work professionals should also offer counseling to the Latino families, who have been exposed to racism and prejudice.
The macro level practices should incorporate the enforcement of fair housing laws that encourage equal access for all communities, regardless of race, origin, or class. Latino families have suffered from political, legal, social, and economic consequences due to lack of immigration legislations that cater for their civil rights. Social agencies should develop policies that expand establishment of affordable housing within non-poor neighborhoods, as well as utilization of housing vouchers that would enable low-income families to reside in their preferred locations (Turner & Rawlings, 2009). Social work professionals must strive to eradicate tenacious systems that hinder the Latino community from realizing its economic potential.
Implications on Housing Community for Latino Families
The Latino community in Maryland has contributed positively in the growth of the state’s economy as the number of Latinos who own businesses has continued to grow. Thus, shaping the Latino families through community housing would have a significant impact on their future. Most Latino families are earning low income due to lack of legal documents that would enable them earn decent income, hence, a provision for community housing is likely to improve their economic situations. When the burden of housing is removed, the Latinos would concentrate on other essential activities that enhance their survival within the state.
The cost of rent in the U.S., and particularly in urban areas, is rising at a speedy rate, as families struggle to access affordable housing. Thus, a proposal to construct an affordable complex that incorporates apartments, a community center, and a day care center enhance the social being and reduce crime rate among the Latino families. Children from the Latino community will have an opportunity to study and enjoy social amenities as other children in Maryland.
The impact on policy development on community housing is fundamental in expanding the productivity of the Latino community and, consequently, minimize overreliance on the state agencies for assistance. Community housing would benefit the Latino families, as well as their children, by enhancing their culture and social cohesion, which is lacking after exposure to the dominant white culture. Community housing is likely to enhance the sense of ownership and transform the Latino community into a law-abiding society.
A proposal to establish a community housing for the Latino community in Maryland is necessary for social and economic advancement of the community. The tremendous growth experienced in the Latino community may pose the threat of hostile response from the majority group if the state government fails to intervene at the right time. Most whites in Maryland believe that the community has become a source of economic sufferings, as their number has continued to rise. The proposition to construct houses for the Latino community would assist in improving their lifestyle and promote human rights within the state. Establishing policies that focus on equality in resource allocation can assist in improving the economic conditions of the Latino community.
Akintayo, D. M. O. (2013). Experiences of Hispanic Population in the United States. Education, 2(1).
Turner, M. A., & Rawlings, L. (2009). Promoting Neighborhood Diversity: Benefits, Barriers, and Strategies. The Urban Institute.