Panel Paper: An Examination of Foreclosure Rates and the Suburbanization of Voucher Recipients

Saturday, November 10, 2012 : 9:30 AM
Salon B (Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Kenya Covington, California State University, Northridge

Currently, the United States is in the midst of the worst foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression; foreclosures have hit an all-time high, with nearly one in ten homes with a mortgage currently at risk of foreclosure. This proposed paper presentation will offer analysis about how unprecedented rates of foreclosure might be associated with the suburbanization of voucher recipients and the suburbanization of poverty overall in 2000 and in 2008. An analysis of Housing Choice Voucher (HCV, the program formerly known as Section 8) recipients in U.S. metropolitan areas in 2000 and 2008 found  that in 2008 roughly half of all voucher recipients lived in suburban areas. That represents a 2.1 percentage point increase in the suburbanization rate of voucher recipients com­pared to 2000. However, by 2008 voucher recipients remained less suburbanized than the total population, the poor population, and affordable housing units generally. Western metro areas like Stockton, Boise, and Phoenix experienced increases of 10 percentage points or more in the suburbanization rate of voucher recipients. These areas are also those that are confronted with a large concentration of residential foreclosures. In this paper we describe the types of suburbs to which voucher recipients are moving, distinguishing among suburbs by differences in their household incomes, job accessibility, and foreclosure rates. Additionally, we consider how the suburbanization of voucher recipients compares to other groups such as the poor. Preliminary analysis suggests that the overall suburbanization of the poor and the suburbanization of voucher recipients in particular is significantly related to the high rates of foreclosure within suburban tracts.