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Foreclosed Homes Put Roanoke Families in Cramped Quarters

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
To supplement their income and prevent their houses from becoming foreclosed houses, families in Roanoke have been renting out spaces in their homes or sharing their homes with relatives.

Housing advocates say the arrangements certainly make living difficult, with expected problems related to privacy and overcrowding, but families help family members during times of crisis and homeowners rather suffer inconvenience temporarily rather than allow their houses to become foreclosed homes.

Nationwide, 76 percent of homeowners and renters evicted from foreclosed homes move in with friends or relatives temporarily, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless.

In Roanoke, 376 families are waiting for the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority to provide them with subsidized housing, an increase of 54 percent over the number last year. Many of these families have been staying with their relatives, oftentimes bringing the number of people living in one house to 15 people.

Two others signs of the worsening problem of foreclosed homes in Roanoke are the rising number of people sleeping on the floor at the Roanoke Rescue Mission every night. City school drivers also have not been picking children from homes in neighborhoods, but from various motels which are paid by the week.

Roanoke has also a homelessness problem called stealth homeless, families who are moving from place to place, either from a relative’s house to a motel, or from a shelter to a relative’s house or the other way around.

Malora Horn, program coordinator for the homeless student program of the Roanoke City Public Schools, said the number of homeless students increased to 302 in March as Virginia foreclosures worsened. The program provides food and transportation to enable the children to continue going to school, whether they are evicted from foreclosed homes, living in motels or shelters or moving from place to place.

Horn said she is certain there are about 50 to 100 homeless students they have not been able to serve because their families are protecting their children from stares or they are protecting relatives from being found out that they are violating lease terms.

Another living arrangement in Roanoke arising from the problem of foreclosed homes is the situation of strangers living together, with a single homeowner looking to increase his income to be able to pay his monthly payments and with the renter trying to cut living costs by renting limited accommodations.

Lastly, the number of adult children returning to live with their parents in Roanoke is also rising. Some of the parents interviewed said they were glad to be of help to their children as they recover from foreclosures and other financial difficulties.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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