In recent decades, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has increased substantially, while simultaneously housing affordability has become a crisis. Despite these trends and the role that immigrant legal status plays in stratifying immigrants over a range of social and economic outcomes, little research focuses on the relationship between immigrant legal status and housing affordability. Using a nationally representative data set and a logical imputation method that estimates immigrant legal status in the data, this article explores the relationship between immigrant legal status and housing cost burden. Results from logit regression models indicate that unauthorized immigrant and mixed legal status renter households are more likely to experience housing cost burden than are households comprised of immigrants living in the United States lawfully or native-born residents, even after controlling for a variety of factors. Among owner households, households of unauthorized and mixed legal status are more likely to experience housing cost burden than are native-born households. As a result, unauthorized immigrants and their families likely experience a disadvantage in the housing market of the United States.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author would like to thank City Futures Research Centre at the University of New South Wales for hosting him as a Senior Visiting Scholar while he conducted research presented in this article. Many thanks to the three anonymous reviewers who provided excellent suggestions on a previous draft of this article.
© 2020 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
- housing affordability
- housing cost burden
- mixed legal status
- unauthorized immigrants
- undocumented immigrants