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Mar 29, 2012 8:13 AM by AP

RI foreclosures take heavy toll on rental market

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A new report says foreclosures in Rhode Island have taken a heavy toll on renters in a state with a large stock of multi-family homes, shrinking the inventory of available apartments and driving up prices.

The nonprofit HousingWorks RI coalition found that nearly a third of all foreclosures in the state during the last three years were multi-family homes.

The report estimated that more than 6,300 apartments were lost as a result of nearly 2,200 multi-family dwelling foreclosures.

Central Falls, Providence and Woonsocket were the hardest-hit communities overall.

Housing advocates are backing state legislation that would prohibit lenders from evicting tenants from foreclosed properties except for "just cause," like failing to pay rent or damaging the property. The bill goes further than protections afforded under federal law.

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