By FLO JONIC
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island leads the New England region in foreclosures, with nearly five thousand homes taken back by banks in the past two years, according to HousingWorks RI, a coalition that supports the development of affordable housing.
Housing Works director Nellie Gorbea says each foreclosed home brings down the property values of nearby houses.
"Conservatively speaking, a foreclosed property is likely to decrease surrounding property values within 300 feet of that property by one percent," Gorbea says. "And if you look at Rhode Island and what' s happened here that could be as much as $5.6 billion in lost wealth in the housing market."
The report says the foreclosure crisis has also decreased the number of affordable apartments available and is draining municipal coffers of property tax revenue.
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