Today, NLIHC (National Low Income Housing Coalition) released the report Renters in Foreclosure: A Fresh Look at an Ongoing Problem. The report builds on its 2009 report Renters in Foreclosure: Defining the Problem, Identifying Solutions,which found that renters comprised 40 percent of the families facing foreclosures of their homes. This number remains the same in 2012, representing a three-fold increase in the number of American renters who are affected by foreclosure. Specifically, the report also takes a historical look at the ways the early stages of the foreclosure crisis disproportionately affected high-poverty areas. African-American neighborhoods still experience a disproportionate number of foreclosures, especially in the multi-family sector.
To collect the data for this report, NLIHC:
- Analyzed available data on properties in the late stages of the foreclosure process to estimate the proportion of renters impacted.
- Scanned media and research for current issues facing this population.
- Surveyed lenders on their policies regarding implementation of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) and other protections for renters.
- Surveyed legal services and housing counseling workers to determine the PTFA’s efficacy.
- Looked at the impact that rental units in foreclosure have on renters, neighborhoods and federal housing policies regarding real estate-owned (REO) properties.
The report presents policy recommendations that ensure protections for renters stay in place, are strengthened and contribute to an expansion of affordable housing. While Congress’s 2009 Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) gives renters-in-the-know historic rights to protect the stability of their housing, many renters remain unaware of their rights under the PTFA. The problem of rental instability as well as a lack of affordable housing is a pressing problem, increasing the risk of homelessness for many Americans and having neighborhood-wide effects in many parts of the country. This report is an excellent look at this issue and the way it affects not only the four states investigated in detail, but the nation as a whole.