From the NY Observer:
New York City has, in many ways, been spared the worst ravages of the foreclosure crisis. A city of renters, where single family homes are the exception rather than the norm and co-op and condo boards regularly turn their noses up at perfectly decent financial packages, we have avoided the magnitude of problems suffered by many other American cities.
But foreclosures have still troubled the city—and often indirectly. For example, many renters in overleveraged multi-family properties suffered when landlords fell behind on payments and ceased to conduct maintenance. And where foreclosures have hit New York, they have also been tied to increases in crime, according to a new report by NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy.
That the two should be tied together is not so surprising. Across the country, a combination of falling fortunes and vacant homes, desperation and a place to conduct desperate acts, have produced similar patterns. Marijuana growers and meth labs have both taken advantage of empty abodes and absent neighbors.
But the correlation between foreclosures and crime in New York, even given the city’s active street life, its declining crime rates and its far-from-abandoned neighborhoods, is noteworthy. For each property receiving a foreclosure notice, the immediate neighborhood saw a 0.7 percent increase in total crime, a 1.5 percent increase in violent crime and a 0.8 percent increase in public order crime, according to the report. However, significant increases in crime only occurred on blocks where there had been three or more foreclosures. Neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of foreclosures and existing crime rates saw the biggest upticks.