As subprime lending decreased over the past decade, mortgage defaults and home foreclosures increased. In 2008, 1.84 percent of all homes in the United States were in the process of foreclosure—more than 2.3 million properties. In the current U.S. housing crisis, better understanding of how economic stress impacts health is needed.
This study specifically looks at housing status and its impact on health by using a cross-sectional design of 798 residents in California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida. Data came from analysis of foreclosure Internet discussion board posts that identified categories of distressed homeowners’ perceived health and social concerns, and from survey data from an online consumer panel to examine whether health issues were reported differently between distressed homeowners and secure homeowners and renters.
This study contributes to understanding how deficits in material resources can impact health, even when controlling for income. As part of a high-risk group, people who are experiencing home foreclosures may require and benefit from coordinated, affordable health and social services.