Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



The recent housing foreclosure crisis has had devastating impacts on individuals, communities, organizations and government. In response, several community development corporations (CDCs) have sought new ways to assist neighborhoods suffering from the myriad effects of high foreclosures, including neighborhood instability, increased vandalism and crime, lower property values, and economic disinvestment. This research project focuses on activities of community-based organizations that acquire and redevelop foreclosed properties to support neighborhood stabilization and revitalization. However, the costs of pursuing this strategy far exceed the resources available to typical CDCs. Thus, our project seeks to solve the following decision problem: What subset of a large number of available foreclosed properties should be acquired for neighborhood stabilization and revitalization? What activities should be pursued with which properties, when should they be pursued, and to what degree? The decision models we intend to develop will yield acquisition policies that are more efficient, effective, and equitable for CDCs and their community residents. Our goal is to develop theory, models and methods that benefit from the knowledge of practitioners while providing practitioners with novel tools and perspectives that enable them to better achieve their organizations’ missions. This document lays out our knowledge to date on the scope and magnitude of the foreclosure crisis, the policy responses and actions by local CDCs to mitigate the effects of foreclosures, and the next steps in our research project, which include applying our expertise to the experiences of community partner organizations to develop models and inform theory and practice.



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