More than 4,000 English households are currently at risk of eviction or home repossession each and every week as housing costs continue to rise and the number of affordable homes keeps on dwindling, recent research by the housing charity Shelter suggests.
In its research into possession notices, the charity found that 215,000 homes across England are currently at risk of repossession. Shelter also warned that rising interest rates will threaten even more households in the immediate future.
From 2002 to 2010, the number of landlord possession claims in courts across England fell from 194,645 to 134,961. Since then, however, landlord possession claims have risen by 47,220 as of the end of Q1 2018, marking a 26 percent increase.
This increase in landlord possession claims contrasts starkly to the 29 percent decrease in mortgage possession claims during this same period of time.
The research also revealed certain areas and neighbourhoods where homeowners are most likely to face repossession or eviction, with London’s Newham neighbourhood topping the list in the south and Salford in the north. Known as the “eviction and repossession risk capital of the north,” the latter is no surprise.
Shelter’s repossession risk list, which is based on statistics from the Ministry of Justice involving private social renters and homeowners who have received repossession letters, is dominated by the boroughs of London.
“These staggering figures show just how many families go through the trauma of learning that their home is at risk, every single week,” stated the chief executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb.
“People are hearing that the economy is recovering, but we’re seeing the reality that many families across the country are still battling to keep their heads above water and keep their homes. Just one thing such as a job loss or serious illness can tip any of us into a downward spiral that puts our home at risk,” he continued.
According to Shelter, the charity’s free advice helpline is receiving more than 480 calls every day in its continued effort to provide free advice and support to homeless families and others who are struggling to stay in their homes.
“Getting advice early is the best way to halt the spiral of rent or mortgage arrears and can mean the difference between losing a home and keeping it,” Robb concluded.