RECENT WORK: OHIO | A Long Road to Recovery
Ohio may not be where your mind goes when you think about the real estate bust. Quarter by quarter, from early 2003 through the end of 2006, Ohio had more foreclosures than any other state on the country. That was during the first wave of misery to befall the housing market.
That wave has subsided somewhat—Ohio currently ranks 8th for foreclosures—but the consequences endure. Today in Cleveland's Cuyahoga County there are about 26,000 vacant homes. Come here (or to Detroit, Youngstown, or Dayton) and you can observe the beginnings of a hard shift in America. A place where the vast pool of middle-class wealth began to evaporate. Where cash drawn from the well of homeowner equity—a flow that kept consumers spending and the economy humming, even as jobs disappeared and incomes plunged—eventually ran dry. Where a piece of the American dream died.