The Unraveling of the American Dream: Foreclosures in the Immigrant Community of Minneapolis

Report by Ryan Allen
March 2009

Center for Urban and Regional Affairs   (Minneapolis-St. Paul)

This report paints a picture of the race and nativity status of households that experienced a foreclosure in the City of Minneapolis during fiscal years 2006 and 2007 (July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2008). Determining the nativity status of households that experienced foreclosure during this period of time represents a significant addition to the research and policy discussions regarding foreclosures, because of the increasing importance of immigrants to homeownership and rental housing markets in many parts of the U.S. Four important research findings emerged from the results of this study:

  1. The majority of foreclosures that occurred involved households living in rental properties that went into foreclosure.
  2. A child enrolled in the Minneapolis Public School system was present in almost 40 percent of households that lived in a foreclosed property.
  3. African-American and Hispanic households were disproportionately represented among households with children enrolled in Minneapolis  ublic Schools that experienced a foreclosure.
  4. Homeowner households with children enrolled in Minneapolis Public Schools that spoke a language other than English in the home were over-represented among households that experienced a foreclosure in Minneapolis.

Together, these research findings indicate a need for increased placement counseling services for renter households displaced because of a foreclosure and expanded foreclosure prevention, financial literacy and first-time homebuyer classes for non-English speakers.