As years of fires, floods and now a pandemic continue to impact Sonoma County residents, members of the Latino community are being hit at disparate rates, making proportionally less money and seeing lower rates of homeownership.
Sonoma County Los Cien hosted its 7th annual State of the Latino Community address, titled “Re-imagining Sonoma County Post-Pandemic,” last week. One of the address’ two panels discussed a shortage of housing in the state and in the county, and ways increased housing development can be supported.
“Most everyone acknowledges that California has had decades of housing long crises, generally impacting the socioeconomically disadvantaged but striking with brute force against the Latino community,” said Los Cien co-chair Oscar Pardo, who moderated a panel on housing during the address. “The underlying systemic factors are generally quantified by red-lining housing practices which oftentimes exclude Latinos and other minority communities from qualifying for mortgages, depressed wages that tend to cause displacement, inflated home prices which tend to make homeownership unattainable and reduced housing stock. All of these factors have been operating in California for decades, but in Sonoma County … we have another set of issues that sit on top of all of this.”