Is Foreclosure Itself a Risk Factor for Youth?
|July 23, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Education, Policy, Research, Youth Development|
A paper from First Focus and the Brookings Institution estimates that 2.3 million children homes have already fallen victim to the foreclosure of their family home with an additional 3.0 million children at risk of losing theirs in the future. These figures do not include the 3 million youth potentially at risk of eviction from rental properties if that property is foreclosed upon. All in all, approximately 8 million children and youth are, or have been, somehow impacted by the unprecendented amount of foreclosures that have occurred in the United States over the past half-decade. .
The Urban Institute released a report earlier this year that examined the impact of the foreclosure crisis on public school students in three east coast cities, Baltimore, New York, and Washington, D.C. The cross-site study, The Foreclosure Crisis and Children: A Three-City Study by Kathryn L. S. Pettit and Jennifer Comey, concluded that foreclosure is a risk factor for students as it disrupts education and social bonds and may increase reports of mental and physical health issues, risk for criminal victimization and the likelihood of attending a school lower-performing than from whence they came. Some other conclusions:
- Racial disparity was mixed across sites. While African-American students were disproportionately affected by home foreclosures in the New York City research site, data indicate that neither Washington DC or Baltimore experienced the same impact.
- In Washington, D.C., students were more likely to be living in less affluent neighborhoods and (in both Washington, D.C., and New York City) in poorer schools prior to foreclosure, compared to the Baltimore site where the foreclosed upon students originally lived in better neighborhoods and attended higher-achieving schools.
- At the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. sites, students impacted by foreclosure were more likely to move out of the school system via transfer to a private school, dropping out, or physically leaving the area than were their New York City peers.
With home foreclosure identified as a trigger for numerous risk factors to the health, safety and development of students, The Urban Institute report lists numerous policy recommendations for public schools, local government, housing officials and researchers to consider when exploring and/or addressing the short and long term impacts of this unprecedented wave of foreclosures.
According to the data from the Brookings paper mentioned above, The Ongoing Impact of Foreclosures on Children by Julia B. Isaacs, in February 2011, 118,000 or 4 percent of Pennsylvania children were already foreclosed upon or in the process of foreclosure on their family-owned home. Has your nonprofit witnessed the impact of home foreclosure on the kids you work with or on clients and their children? Do you consider home foreclosure a risk factor for youth or something different altogether?