According to a report released June 26, nearly 80% of homeless service and advocacy agencies report that at least some of their clients became homeless as a result of a foreclosure. One in five estimates that more than 40% of their clients became homeless because of a foreclosure. After foreclosure, those who become homeless most often find themselves living with family and friends or emergency shelter.
The findings of the report are based on the survey responses of 178 local homeless service providers from all regions of the country. Respondents were asked to report the numbers of their clients who became homeless as a result of foreclosure, as well as about the coping strategies of families and the services and protections available to evicted families at the state and local levels. The report also examines related factors that contribute to foreclosures and homelessness, including health care costs and whether or not the family has access to legal assistance. In addition, the report recommends policies that would assist both homeowners and renters facing foreclosures.
The report was released at a plenary session of the National Healthcare for the Homeless conference. John Parvensky, President of the National Coalition for the Homeless, Executive Director of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, and an NLIHC state partner, introduced Donna Smith, who discussed how the loss of her home was linked to her family’s health problems. Ms. Smith rose to prominence when her story was featured in the film Sicko.
The organizations sponsoring Foreclosure to Homelessness 2009: The Forgotten Victims of the Subprime Crisis are: National Coalition for the Homeless, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, NLIHC, and the National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness.
Along with the discussion, an appendix provides additional data and lists the survey questions and the names of local service providers that responded. The report is available at http://www.nlihc.org/template/page.cfm?id=195