One home in every street at risk of repossession, warns charity

Shelter says unemployment and high cost of living are leaving household on a ' knife-edge'

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The Independent Online

One home in every street in some parts of England is at risk of being repossessed, according to a housing and homelessness charity.

Shelter said that unemployment and the high cost of living are leaving many households on a “knife-edge”, and applications made to courts by lenders and landlords to repossess homes in England have increased.

Between July last year and June 2013, Richmondshire, North Yorkshire, saw the biggest increase in possession as claims rocketed by 80.3 per cent.

Newham in East London has the highest number of homes at risk of being repossessed: one in every 35. This translates into one house on every street in the area where a family may be at risk of becoming homeless, Shelter said.

A Government spokesperson said: “Latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show the numbers of home repossessions haven fallen 8 per cent over the past 12 months and are at their lowest level for six years.

"But we are not complacent. Our welfare reforms are ensuring that clear protection is in place, we've maintained the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme and our £470 million funding to councils means we continue to have a strong safety net against homelessness.

“We know times are tough and that is why we are taking action to help families with the cost of living by cutting income tax for 25 million people, which will save a typical taxpayer over £700, taking 2.7 million out of income tax altogether and freezing council tax for five years, saving a typical household £600.”

Shelter’s statistics are a combination of data from the Ministry of Justice and the 2011 census.