The foreclosure crisis that has plagued the United States for the past few years has undoubtedly had a huge impact on adults, but according to a recent study, another group is heavily impacted as well: children. The study, released by First Focus, found that millions of children living through the foreclosure crisis could suffer child development issues due to the stress of the dramatic change.
Foreclosure Crisis Affects 1 in 10 Children
First Focus, a Washington-D.C.-based bipartisan advocacy group that focuses on families, conducted a study to determine the impact of the foreclosure crisis on children. It found that one in 10 U.S. children have been or will be affected by the surge in foreclosures following the housing industry collapse.
The study revealed these additional figures:
- An estimated 2.3 million children have lived in homes lost to foreclosure since the foreclosure crisis began five years ago.
- 3 million children live in homes at risk of foreclosure because mortgage loans are in the foreclosure process or are seriously delinquent.
- 3 million children have lived or live in rental homes lost to or at risk of foreclosure.
Julia Isaacs, the report’s author, said she conducted the study because children are often overlooked as victims in the foreclosure crisis. In many cases, children who face these troubling circumstances are impacted more severely than their parents or guardians.
Child Development a Concern for Kids of Foreclosure
In addition to revealing the staggering number of children impacted by foreclosure in the past few years, the study also found that kids who live through the experience face child development issues.
The abrupt changes that occur during a foreclosure can have an effect on children’s health. Further, every forced move that occurs during a school year results in a drop in a child’s math and reading scores comparable to a month of missed school.
Isaacs warned that the number of children actually affected by the foreclosure crisis could be much larger than what’s shared in her study since her estimates only covered mortgage loans made from 2004 to 2008.
If the study was adjusted to include families with more kids, loan delinquencies and actual foreclosures among children could be higher.