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Title: Whose City Upon a Hill? A Mixed Methods Analysis of Race, Foreclosure, and Investor Buyers in Boston, Massachusetts
Authors: Placheril, MaryAnn
Advisors: Massey, Douglas
Department: Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Certificate Program: Center for Statistics and Machine Learning
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: This thesis uses Neighborhood Stabilization Program foreclosure estimates, American Community Survey 5-Year estimates, and Suffolk County deed records to examine the relationship between race/ethnicity, foreclosure, and corporate buy-ups in Boston during the foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s. Subprime loans were targeted at Black and Latino borrowers. Subsequently, neighborhoods with large Black and Latino populations experienced disproportionately high rates of foreclosure. The first section of analysis uses census tract level data to regress foreclosures on a set of demographic variables, showing a significant positive effect of Black and Latino ownership on foreclosure numbers and rates. Qualitative analysis on a sample of foreclosure deed records in Black neighborhoods aligns with previous literature and shows that corporate entities bought about a half of these properties. Investor buyers tended to either quickly flip or hold properties, which either extracted value from neighborhoods or limited the available housing stock. Given the disproportionate application of subprime loans and other factors, minority neighborhoods bore much of the financial and social cost of foreclosures. The thesis concludes with policy recommendations both in the case of another foreclosure crisis and to repair the harm done to people and communities disproportionately affected by the one studied.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2021

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