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"Across the country, a growing number of single-family rentals provide an option for many who lost their homes in the housing crash through foreclosure and for those who cannot obtain a mortgage under today’s tougher credit conditions," observes Shaila Dewan. "But the decline in homeownership is also changing many neighborhoods in profound ways, including reduced home values, lower voter turnout and political influence, less social stability and higher crime."
Though owner-occupiers see "a parade of strangers" and "a seedy underside", investors "say they have done a service to neighborhoods plagued by foreclosures, by helping to nudge home values upward and renovating and maintaining formerly vacant homes."