Economic Crisis

The Human Cost of Foreclosure

In New York City, foreclosures have left thousands of low-income renters living in deteriorating homes.

This Earth Focus episode is a special presentation of Faile Street, a film by John Light and Elaisha Stokes that looks at the human cost of apartment foreclosure in New York City. The apartment foreclosure crisis hurt millions of middle-class Americans in the years after the Great Recession. But it also affected the urban real estate market. In New York City, apartment foreclosures left thousands of mostly lower-income renters living in buildings that were stuck in limbo between former owners, the foreclosing bank, and the auction block. These tenants found their home environment deteriorating around them, and their health in serious jeopardy. Faile Street follows four tenants living in the Bronx borough of New York — and the housing advocates they turn to for help — as they struggle to keep their homes liveable and their families safe.

  • Our partner

This story was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, now known as Type Investigations.

About the reporters

Elaisha Stokes

Elaisha Stokes

Elaisha Stokes is an award winning freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker based in New York.

John Light

John Light

John Light is a writer and editor for Bill Moyers’ website.

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