Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

February 22, 2013

Do Foreclosures Cause Crime?

By David Reiss

The Furman Center says yes.  The Center conducted an empirical study in New York City and found that “foreclosure activity appears to be linked to subsequent crime” if “there have been three or more foreclosure notices issued on a blockface.” (4)

The study may give law enforcement agencies something to chew over now (perhaps CrimeStat should track foreclosures?!?), but it should also give those who study housing finance policy something to plan for as we look ahead to the next foreclosure crisis.  If this finding is replicated in other jurisdictions, should federal and state governments put into place any policies and programs that will address this foreseeable consequence of concentrated foreclosures?  The Furman study suggests some policies on its last page.

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