The hidden costs of foreclosure: Stabilizing low-income Philadelphia neighborhoods helps us all

July 9th, 2018 | The Philadelphia Inquirer

By Elyse Cherry

The foreclosure crisis may have eased across much of America, but it’s still a problem in lower-income communities, nationwide and particularly in Philadelphia.

In 2017, Philadelphia had the third-highest foreclosure rate of metro areas in the United States at 1.26 percent, more than double the national average of 0.51 percent. RealtyTrac currently reports that there are nearly 7,000 properties in Philadelphia in some stage of foreclosure.

Foreclosure continues to destabilize lower-income and minority communities and affect home values throughout Philadelphia. Historically, Philadelphia’s black population built wealth through homeownership in predominantly African American “middle” neighborhoods, where home values ranged from roughly 50 percent below to 50 percent above the city’s median home sale price ($96,500).

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