Belt launched in August 2013, long after the housing meltdown. The foreclosure crisis hit the Rust Belt years before the rest of the nation–which means we are also ahead of everyone else in “recovery” Here, collected, are some of our features on housing from our first two years.

1.) Is it really a good idea to buy that $500 house?
Or maybe your city doesn’t need “another financially challenged homeowner, even one whose heart was in the right place”


2.) What is it like to have your house foreclosed upon?
“Most people, you’ve been in the house like 30 years and you have a party because you finally have the title. We own this house. But good luck getting a loan.”


3.) How are things these days in “Ground Zero of the Foreclosure Crisis“?
“Owning a three-bedroom $425-a-month home ten minutes from downtown has practical market value.”


4.) What are folks doing about all those vacant, abandoned properties?
“You could tear down every fifth house in Cleveland and have just about enough housing to meet the needs of the current population.”


5.) Uh oh. Are inner ring suburbs the next to implode?
“The suburbs that seem to be falling victim to quick decline (and the subsequent racial divides) are the ones that had most of their housing built between the end of World War II and 1959. About 60 percent of Ferguson’s housing was built in that time frame.


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