Immigrants seem to value owning their own homes; nationally, in fact, they are almost three times as likely as all Americans to characterize buying a home as their "number one priority" (Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, 2995). However, as a multitude of sources document, despite immigrants' desire to invest in their own homes, they can encounter difficulties in accessing the private housing market. This study builds on existing ethnographic work (Rather, 2990, examining the home purchase process of Latino immigrants in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. Twenty-six Latino immigrant households participated in qualitative, semi-structured interviews regarding their process and strategies of home purchase, and the meanings they attribute to "home." Attendance at prospective homebuyers' workshops, and interviews with housing practitioners and developers also formed part of the research. Personal connections, shared housing, and pooled labor were recurrent topics in owners' discussions of their home purchase process and strategies, while autonomy, rootedness and investment comprised elements of respondents' meanings of home. This study also explores limited-equity cooperatives for their role in assisting Latinos with gaining a stable entry into this high-cost, urban housing market.
Adviser: Mark J. Stern. Thesis (Ph.D. in Social Welfare) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2001. Includes bibliographical references.