Housing is expected to enjoy another decade of significant growth driven mainly by women, minorities, and immigrants, a trend that will generate even bigger affordability challenges, according to an annual report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies.Released at the Ford Foundation in New York, "The State of the Nation's Housing 2004" highlights the impact of demographic changes as drivers of housing demand. It says that, "bolstered by strong immigration during the 1990s, housing has been set upon a higher path that is likely to continue over the next decade," while a larger-than-predicted share of households will be younger, foreign-born, and minority. The study indicates that relatively low average incomes among these segments of the population will add to the demand for "modest starter homes" and affordable rental housing. "Largely as a result of immigration, minorities accounted for 27% of households in 2003 and will contribute at least two-thirds of net household growth in the coming decades," said JCHS director Nicolas P. Retsinas. "While two-thirds of Americans are well-housed, the remaining third have significant housing problems, and many struggle to meet other basic needs while still managing to keep a roof over their heads."

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