Weathering the Recession: The Financial Crisis and Family Wealth Changes in Low-Income Neighborhoods

The Urban Institute, March 2012

28 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2013 Last revised: 5 Feb 2013

See all articles by Leah Hendey

Leah Hendey

Urban Institute

Signe-Mary McKernan

The Urban Institute - Center on Labor, Human Services and Population

Beadsie Woo

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Date Written: March 1, 2012

Abstract

This report looks closely at what happened to assets, debts and home equity for families living in low-income neighborhoods during the Great Recession, using data from the longitudinal Making Connections Survey. We find that both average savings and debt amounts increased between 2005/06 and 2008/09, but asset and debt levels remained lower for vulnerable families, and low-income families disproportionally lost equity during the crisis. Yet even in 2008/09, home equity was substantial and an important component of wealth ($66,000, more than four times as much as families had in savings) for the nearly half of families who were homeowners.

Keywords: Cities and Neighborhoods, Economy/Taxes, Families and Parenting, Housing Poverty Assets and Safety Net

Suggested Citation

Hendey, Leah and McKernan, Signe-Mary and Woo, Beadsie, Weathering the Recession: The Financial Crisis and Family Wealth Changes in Low-Income Neighborhoods (March 1, 2012). The Urban Institute, March 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2205363 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2205363

Leah Hendey

Urban Institute ( email )

2100 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Signe-Mary McKernan (Contact Author)

The Urban Institute - Center on Labor, Human Services and Population ( email )

United States

Beadsie Woo

Annie E. Casey Foundation

701 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

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