Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The impact of foreclosures on the mental health of tenants

The Merced Sun-Star has published an outstanding series of articles titled "Houses of Blues: the Extreme Stress of Merced's Foreclosure Epidemic." The series is the product of a four-week investigation of the psychological and other health problems wreaked by the local foreclosure crisis. The paper partnered with California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting to gather the stories of dozens of people caught in the mortgage meltdown, many of them tenants.

One of the articles, "Renters, beware of trapdoor" focuses specifically on the immense stress foreclosures are putting on unsuspecting tenants.
"For a homeowner, it is hard, but for a renter in a home, being swept from underneath with no notice, it is rather abrupt and scary," said Jannel, 28.
Another article, "Foreclosure takes heavy toll on hearts and minds," sites a study published in October in the American Journal of Public Health about residents undergoing foreclosure in Philadelphia:

The findings are grim. More than one-third of those residents met the screening standards for major depression, such as feelings of sadness and changes in appetite or sleep patterns, said the article's lead author, Dr. Craig E. Pollack, a Rand Corp. researcher and assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. That compares to about 13 percent for people living in poverty.

Read the series online at the Merced Sun-Star.

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