Eviction Britain: More than half a million face having their homes repossessed

 

More than half a million Britons are facing eviction from the homes they own or rent, according to a new analysis of possession claims served on households by the courts during the past year.

The scale of the crisis equates to more than 4,000 households being at risk of losing their home each week, Shelter warned today, while more than 215,000 possession claims have been served on people since April last year.

In some parts of the country the situation is so bad that one in 34 households is in danger of being repossessed, according to the charity’s analysis of county court records from England between April 2013 and March 2014.

Newham in London tops a list of hotspots revealed by Shelter, with one in 34 households having had possession claims made against them in the past year. It is closely followed by Barking and Dagenham, and Southwark, at one in 35 and one in 38 respectively. While London boroughs – where house prices are highest - dominate the list, it is a national problem. Nottingham (the number one hotspot outside of London with one in every 54 homes at risk), Peterborough (one in 60) and Salford (one in 60) also feature in the top 20 worst hit places.  

In terms of regions, London is the worst hit with one in 56 households affected. In contrast, in the south west just one in 172 households have been served the legal notices, which are the first stage in a process which can result in someone being evicted from a home they own or rent.

Despite the political rhetoric around economic recovery, the reality is that growing numbers of families are still set to struggle financially in the future, claim campaigners. And with the majority of families already struggling month to month with their housing costs and interest rates set to rise, many could soon hit danger levels, warned the charity last night.

“These staggering figures show just how many families go through the trauma of learning that their home is at risk, every single week,” commented Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter. “Just one thing such as a job loss or serious illness can tip any of us in to a downward spiral that puts our home at risk.”

He added: “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.” 

Responding to the news, Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “Official Government statistics show repossession claims are falling and in the last quarter were at their lowest for a decade. This has only been achieved because of this Government’s long-term economic plan, which is fixing the broken housing market and tackling the record deficit we inherited.”

He added: “We have kept interest rates low, home ownership is now at its most affordable rate since 2007 and mortgage approvals are at a six-year high. However, anyone facing the prospect of losing their home should seek advice and speak to their lender early so they have as many options as possible.”

The situation is likely to worsen, with more than two million homeowners set to struggle to make repayments on their mortgages if interest rates rise, according to a new report published on Monday by the Resolution Foundation.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test