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Facts and Findings about Foreclosures, Families, and Communities

Document date: June 22, 2009
Released online: June 22, 2009

Contact: Stu Kantor, (202) 261-5283, skantor@urban.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 22, 2009 — "The Impacts of Foreclosures on Families and Communities," a new Urban Institute report, details what is known about how foreclosures adversely affect households and their neighborhoods — from children and the elderly to public safety and local property tax revenues. It also looks at policies, programs, and response strategies to prevent or mitigate the fallout.

The report, a comprehensive resource for local officials, advocates, and concerned laypeople, was motivated by the recognition that this decade may be the most tumultuous in the history of U.S. housing markets. Home prices skyrocketed from 2000 to 2006, while subprime loans and other factors propelled an expansion in homeownership. Then it all fell apart. Prices have plummeted, foreclosure rates have ballooned, and many communities have been walloped.

For instance, a 13-state analysis cited in the report found that a home's value dropped 0.6 percent for each new foreclosure within one-eighth mile. A Chicago study forecast a 2.3 percent jump in a census tract's violent crimes for each 1 percentage point increase in the foreclosure rate.

A second Urban Institute publication, "The Impacts of Foreclosures on Families and Communities: A Primer," provides a handy scan of the research and policy landscape.

Both reports were funded by the Open Society Institute. They were written by G. Thomas Kingsley, Robin Smith, and David Price, researchers in the Urban Institute's Center on Metropolitan Housing and Communities.

"The Impacts of Foreclosures on Families and Communities" is available at http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=411909. The primer is at http://www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=411910.

Related work by the Urban Institute and three partnering organizations can be found on a new web site, http://www.foreclosure-response.org.

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic, and governance challenges facing the nation.

Topics/Tags: | Cities and Neighborhoods | Families and Parenting | Housing

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