Empty Houses and Broken Dreams: An Analysis of the Impact of Foreclosures in Durham's Neighborhoods

  • Description

This paper describes the scope of foreclosures in one North Carolina county (Durham). It breaks down the impact on neighborhoods, on different racial groups, and on older people. The study uses data on foreclosure starts for the first 10 months of 2007 in Durham County. Records of foreclosure events (which include not only foreclosures but also bank owned properties as well as notice of defaults registered at the county courthouse) come from RealtyTrac. The data is integrated with voting data to show the race and age of voters living in the households were foreclosures took place. Because of limitations to data, the paper cannot assert the specific relationship between borrower race and loan performance. The report includes maps, photographs, and interviews with local residents. It finishes with a set of policy options that leaders at municipal, state, and federal levels of government can consider to address the foreclosure issue. This paper was introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly in Feb. 2008.