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Foreclosure to Homelessness

NCH REPORT CALLS FOR ACTION TO BREAK THE
FORECLOSURE TO HOMELESSNESS CYCLE

Washington, DC – The National Coalition for the Homeless released a report today forecasting an increase in homelessness due to the foreclosure crisis. The report, Foreclosure to Homelessness: the Forgotten Victims of the Subprime Crisis, summarizes the findings of a national survey of state and local homeless coalitions conducted in winter 2008 to ascertain whether their communities were seeing an increase in homelessness due to the foreclosure crisis.

Among the survey findings:

  • 61 percent of survey respondents reported an increase in homelessness in their communities since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007.
  • Respondents reported a variety of living arrangements among the newly homeless victims of the foreclosure crisis, including stays with family and friends, in emergency shelters, and on the streets.

The report criticizes state legislatures and Congress for their inattention to homelessness prevention initiatives in their response to the foreclosure crisis. “Nearly forgotten in the foreclosure crisis are the thousands of homeowners and renters who have become homeless once their equity is exhausted,” said Bob Erlenbusch, President of the National Coalition for the Homeless. ”We hope this report will sound an alarm and inspire policymakers to take proactive measures that prevent more Americans from falling from foreclosure to homelessness.”

Among the policy recommendations offered by NCH to break the foreclosure to homelessness cycle is an infusion of funds into the federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program, a highly effective program already in place to provide rental and mortgage assistance to persons at risk of homelessness.  At the request of NCH and other organizations, Congress is now considering action on this recommendation as part of foreclosure relief measures.

Click here to read Foreclosure to Homelessness: the Forgotten Victims of the Subprime Crisis.

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