Responding to the Foreclosure Crisis in Appalachia: A Policy Review and Survey of Housing Counselors
34 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2012 Last revised: 14 Feb 2013
Date Written: July 21, 2012
Existing research on the foreclosure crisis tends to focus on national trends or on metropolitan areas. Few studies focus on rural areas, and none look at Appalachia in particular. Existing research on rural housing challenges suggests that rural communities face unique challenges in the wake of the foreclosure crisis due to capacity constraints, lack of qualified counselors in rural areas, and lack of funding availability. This study investigates the impact of existing policies upon Appalachian communities and households – analyzing whether communities suffering from widespread foreclosures lack the governmental and non-profit resources necessary to adequately utilize funding and other resources to respond to the crisis. We present findings from a survey of housing counselors serving the Appalachian region, which suggests that lack of federal funding is placing enormous strain on counseling agencies. These challenges often prevent them from getting distressed homeowners aid in a timely manner or help them to make modifications to their mortgages. Finally, we make policy and planning recommendations to target assistance to these and other rural and distressed communities suffering from foreclosures.
Keywords: Foreclosure, housing, rural, Appalachia
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