Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Michael Knight


The housing foreclosure crisis of 2007-2010 in the United States disproportionately affected persons of color. Some states, such as Florida, were heavily impacted by property value losses, yet there has been little research since about the experience of losing a home and recovering from that loss from the perspective of the homeowner. Using Carlson's conceptualization of resiliency theory, the purpose of this phenomenological study was to assess the impact of housing foreclosure and the experience of recovery from foreclosure on Black and Hispanic people in Lee County, Florida. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with 15 people in Lee County who experienced foreclosure and recovery. Interview data were inductively coded and then subjected to a thematic analysis procedure. Findings revealed that a common experience among participants was that they lacked knowledge about government programs that may have helped them avoid foreclosure, and only a few participants took advantage of emergency assistance offered through local or regional government organizations. In general, people experienced a sense of isolation and had little guidance on recovery options. The positive social change implications of this study include recommendations to government organizations on all levels to enhance outreach efforts to help struggling families avoid foreclosure, including considering creative funding mechanisms to offer assistance.