Shutterstock

What's the connection between foreclosures and homelessness?

It's a question that puzzles housing experts - where do families go when they face foreclosure? Do they become homeless?

Apparently, this is surprisingly difficult to answer. According to the Metrotrends blog writer Mary Cunningham, almost a quarter of families that entered homeless shelters in 2010 came directly from a home they owned or rented. But there's very little data on why these families had to leave their homes. And shelters are often the last stop on the "residential instability road." As Cunningham writes:

Families facing foreclosure may move into a rental unit or double up with friends or family first. If these situations become unsustainable for whatever reason, the next stop may be the shelter ... The answer is that a few families may be trickling into homeless shelters, but probably not immediately after foreclosure, and not on a wide scale. 

Here's a chart the illustrates where families lived before they entered a shelter according to HUD:

What can be done to relieve some housing instability? The Urban Institute has some good recommendations here.

Photo credit: Olivier Le Queinec /Shutterstock

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  2. Coronavirus

    Why Asian Countries Have Succeeded in Flattening the Curve

    To help flatten the curve in the Covid-19 outbreak, officials at all levels of government are asking people to stay home. Here's what’s worked, and what hasn't.

  3. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

  4. An African healthcare worker takes her time washing her hands due to a virus outbreak/.
    Coronavirus

    Why You Should Stop Joking That Black People Are Immune to Coronavirus

    There’s a fatal history behind the claim that African Americans are more resistant to diseases like Covid-19 or yellow fever.

  5. Equity

    Why Not Just Stop Paying Rent?

    Because of coronavirus, millions of tenants won’t be able to write rent checks. But calls for a rent holiday often ignore the longer-term economic effects.

×