WASHINGTON — Children could be prevented from realizing their potential in school and eventually in the labor force as consequences from home foreclosures endure for years, a Federal Reserve official said Thursday.
"A foreclosure is likely to mean not only a loss of home, but also a disruption in where, or whether, kids are in school," said Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, at a Fed conference in Washington about neighborhood stabilization. "Since foreclosure is often related to unemployment, marital stress or physical ailments, the foreclosure is likely to make it difficult for even the most determined student to excel."
Rosengren added that he is encouraging staff to look at how children are affected by foreclosures.
Foreclosures might be a symptom of "broader problems" having effects on neighborhoods, such as high rates of unemployment and property crime, Rosengren said. He noted that higher foreclosure rates could exacerbate such problems.
"My own view is that too little focus has been on community problems because the focus has been more targeted to housing and foreclosures," Rosengren said.
Areas with high concentrations of real estate owned properties — properties held on the books of banks typically after failing to sell at foreclosure auctions — also have been associated with greater incidence of babies with low birth weight, higher high-school dropout rates and more frequent failures on statewide math tests.