Affordable Housing, Community Development, Reports and Publications, Supportive Housing

Children Negatively Impacted by Foreclosure

First Focus and the Brookings Institution

In CT, 51,000 children (6% of the children in CT) have been affected by foreclosures of owner-occupied homes.  This is according to a recent brief by First Focus and the Brookings Institution that generated estimates of the numbers of children affected by the mortgage crisis by combining state estimates on foreclosures with Census Bureau data on the living arrangements of families with children.

Throughout the United States it is estimated 1 in 10 children has been affected by the foreclosure crisis. That breaks down into: 2.3 million children who are homeless due to single-family home foreclosures, 3 million children who are at serious risk of becoming homeless and 3 million children have lost or are at risk of losing rented homes to foreclosure.

Foreclosures have been shown to negatively affect children in 4 major ways. First, children are likely to move around more which leads to worse school performance. Second, foreclosure creates more stress for parents and children, which may result in strained relationships between parent and child which can lead the child to develop behavioral problems.  Third, foreclosures negatively affect physical and mental health. Last, foreclosures tend to happen in the same neighborhoods, so the children are impacted by the effects of being in an area where home values are lower, there are vacant houses and higher crime rates.

To address these issues, the researchers made a number of policy recommendations. They recommended ways to help families stay in their homes by improving access to refinancing, distributing the National Mortgage Settlement payouts quickly and to the families that truly need it, and making tenant protections permanent. They also suggested ways to help families find new homes by creating and investing more in affordable housing. Finally they suggested creating services and programs to help homeless children and youth.

Click here to read the brief on First Focus’ website
For a companion paper outlining policy actions to mitigate the impact of foreclosure, click here


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