I recently posted about how the economic downturn isn’t affecting all of us equally. We can say the same for the rash of home foreclosures. Some people, of course, are losing their homes and other’s aren’t. But, in addition to that, some people are seeing the value of their homes go down more than others due to the housing crisis. For example, if you don’t lose your house, but lots of other people in your neighborhood do, the value of your house will fall moreso than the values of homes in neighborhoods with little to no foreclosure. Photographer Camilo Jose Vergara draws our attention to yet another unequal casualty of the housing crisis: owners of duplexes who are, disproportionately, working class and urban.
How are owners of duplexes uniquely affected by foreclosure? First, if the other half of your duplex is abandoned or under foreclosure, your half is significantly devalued. And, second, as Vergara writes:
Those living in the occupied home often have their lives made more difficult by what happens on the other side of a shared wall… people throw trash in the front and back yards of the vacant unit, causing foul smells and attracting rats. Physical problems in the empty shell cause accelerated decay in the occupied house. Water may be left running in the unoccupied unit, causing moisture to migrate next door. In cold weather, pipes burst. Joists rot and collapse, tearing bricks out of the shared wall. And if the empty dwelling is not properly sealed, prostitutes and drug addicts may break in and start fires.
Via the Daily Dish.