Cities and economic decline : the role of foreclosures as a stressor



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In the midst of the Great Recession, cities across the country were impacted in a variety of ways, and most saw rapid increases in foreclosures. This report uses a conceptual framework composed of three elements, stressors, vulnerability, and resiliency, to look at the implications of foreclosures for cities. First, factors that cause foreclosures in the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas are examined. Then this report looks specifically at the economic impact of foreclosures. Using multiple regression analyses, the findings suggest that foreclosures have negative economic impacts and can be considered a stressor on a city’s economy. The application of this stressor has implications for a city’s vulnerability and resiliency. To some extent, local authorities have limited authority and capacity to prevent foreclosures. Therefore, this report also explores alternative approaches that cities can take to increase economic resiliency and competitiveness in the context of stressors such as foreclosures.