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Richmond, Va. — A UNC Center for Community Capital analyst today offered local and state authorities at the Virginia Foreclosure Community Impact Summit in Richmond an overview of best practices to minimize the effects of home foreclosures and prevent similar problems in the future.

Center associate director Janneke Ratcliffe was part of a panel that examined how foreclosures can have unforeseen consequences for local governments, municipalities and communities, as well as how these institutions can better anticipate — and intervene successfully to lessen — problematic foreclosure impacts.

Foreclosures occurring in blocks or clusters can trigger negative results for communities in general, Ratcliffe said, citing reports from Charlotte, N.C., Memphis, Tenn., and Newark, N.J. Among the problems are declining home values in neighborhoods; lower property tax revenues, sales taxes and transfer-fee collections; increases in local costs as communities spend more on demolition, inspections, legal fees and policing; and decreases in overall Gross Metropolitan Product.

Local communities can respond to these challenges with a two-part approach: preventive and curative, Ratcliff said. The preventive measures include such actions as strengthening consumer protection, enforcement and licensing, as well as exploring zoning or planning solutions to the problem of clustered foreclosures. Curative responses range from increasing counseling resources to creating redevelopment opportunities or take-out financing for new developments, Ratcliffe said.

View Ratcliffe’s presentation, “Foreclosures & the Community.”

Home ownership finance is a key area of research and analysis for the UNC Center for Community Capital, the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. The Center’s in-depth analyses help policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people, more effectively. For more information, visit

Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership, Default, Bankruptcy, & Foreclosure, Housing Policy, Mortgage Finance
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