One of the results of the national economic recession and related housing crisis that began in late 2007 was a significant increase in foreclosures and abandoned homes in the Southeastern Wisconsin Region. In addition to the hardships experienced by owners and renters that lose their homes, abandoned homes can lead to increases in vandalism and other criminal activity in a neighborhood, lower the property values and marketability of neighboring homes, and become a financial burden to the local government. Community problems tend to intensify if foreclosures and abandoned homes become concentrated in a neighborhood. Although the entire Southeastern Wisconsin Region experienced an increase in foreclosure activity during the last half of the 2000s, central city areas of the Region with high concentrations of low-income and minority populations experienced the greatest concentrations of foreclosures.
As a result of the crises, Federal legislation has been enacted to correct the problematic financial practices that led to the economic recession and related housing crisis. Federal funding programs have also been established to provide financial assistance to State and local governments, non-profit organizations, and individual homeowners to help prevent foreclosures and home abandonment and to help stabilize neighborhoods with high concentrations of abandoned homes. The foreclosure issue continues to have negative impacts on individuals, families, and communities, however, particularly in the City of Milwaukee. The following links provide additional information about the foreclosure issue: