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. Four houses of wood and glass sit on the water.
    Environment

    Are These Dutch Floating Homes a Solution for Rising Seas?

    Houseboats have long been a common sight near Amsterdam, but a new community may signal a premise that could work elsewhere, too.

  2. A woman sits reading on a rooftop garden, with the dense city of Tokyo surrounding her.
    Solutions

    Designing a Megacity for Mental Health

    A new report assesses how Tokyo’s infrastructure affects residents’ emotional well-being, offering lessons for other cities.

  3. Environment

    Visualize the Path of the Eclipse With Live Traffic Data

    On Google Maps, a mass migration in progress.

  4. A city overpass with parked cars and sparse trees
    Civic Life

    How 'Temporary Urbanism' Can Transform Struggling Industrial Towns

    Matchmaking empty spaces with local businesses and the tiny house movement are innovative solutions that can help post-industrial cities across Europe and North America adapt to the future.

  5. POV

    Grenfell Was No Ordinary Accident

    The catastrophic fire that killed at least 80 in London was the inevitable byproduct of an ideology that vilified the poor.