How Newark, New Jersey, Provides a Template for Targeting the Homeowner Assistance Fund

Research Report

How Newark, New Jersey, Provides a Template for Targeting the Homeowner Assistance Fund

September 28, 2021

Abstract

Only 24 percent of households living in Newark, New Jersey, own their home. While efforts to boost homeownership within the city are critical, ensuring that current owners do not lose their homes is also important. However, foreclosure risk may be heightened in Newark due to the interaction of racial inequities with the COVID-19 recession. To test this hypothesis, we constructed a standard regression model to evaluate the risk of foreclosure amid the winddown of forbearance and foreclosure moratorium policies implemented by the CARES Act. Our results suggest that as federal policy unwinds, Newark homeowners may face a greater risk of foreclosure than the state of New Jersey overall. We point to the importance of targeting federal Homeowner Assistance Funds (HAF) by state officials and propose that this analysis may be a general framework for other jurisdictions assessing where to distribute their HAF assistance.

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