The number of renters affected by foreclosures has more than tripled in three years, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).

Renters make up about 40 percent of the families affected by foreclosures, estimates the group in its latest report, “Renters in Foreclosure: A Fresh Look at an Ongoing Problem.”

In response to the scarcity of data related to rental foreclosures, NLIHC researchers looked at properties at the end of the foreclosure process—either those with an auction notice or those that were already real estate owned—in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. They examined data from 2010 and the first quarter of 2011.

Approximately 148,800 renters (in 66,890 households) were impacted by foreclosures in these four states between January 2010 and March 2011 compared with approximately 44,000 renters between January 2007 and March 2008.

 In the latest findings, multifamily properties represented about 22 percent of foreclosed properties and 44 percent of foreclosed units.

NLIHC also found that foreclosures disproportionately affected renters in low-income, minority neighborhoods.

The organization says nationwide data must be made available to better assess the impact of foreclosures on renters and urges that 2009’s Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, which is set to expire at the end of 2014, be made permanent.

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