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Abstract

The Great Recession resulted in significant job loss, producing a decrease in income for many families. Others struggled with unaffordable loans and underwater home mortgages. As a result of the multiple challenges after the recession, housing instability was prevalent. To offer support, local agencies provided education and assistance. Existing research provides an understanding of the economic influence of foreclosure and counseling services on communities, yet little is known about the experience of families during and after crisis. Using Seidman’s (2012) three-stage interview process, a series of phenomenological, semistructured qualitative interviews were completed to give voice to a sample of participants, aged 50-64, who sought housing counseling services at a midwestern university Extension housing counseling office and identify practice implications for counselors. Findings revealed the importance of understanding the unique experience of housing instability and a need to provide information and support to aid coping efforts. Implications for Extension educators and human service professionals, employers, lenders, and policymakers are provided.

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