The number of evictions in England and Wales have soared to the highest level since records began, according to official Government figures.
Ministry of Justice figures show that 41,956 households who rented their homes were evicted between January to December 2014.
Around 8,000 families in England and Wales are losing their home every month, reports 24dash.com.
The shocking figure represents an 11% increase on the previous year and is at the highest level since records began in 2000.
An estimated 21% of landlord possession claims made by landlords between October to December 2014 will result in tenants being evicted. But the figure could be anywhere between 17% and 24%.
Rob Campbell , chief executive of the housing and homeless charity Shelter, warned of the “devastating impact” a shortage of affordable homes is having on struggling households.
“With the cost of housing sky-high, we are hearing from increasing numbers of families who are terrified that just one thing, like a sudden illness or job loss, will leave them homeless”, he said.
Mr Campbell slammed Government welfare cuts for “making it harder and harder for people to stay in their homes”.
He urged politicians from all parties to “commit to building the genuinely affordable homes that we desperately need”.
In related news, a Bill is currently passing through parliament which could make so-called revenge or retaliatory evictions illegal.
If the Bill is passed into law, it would prevent landlords from evicting tenants within six months of receiving an improvement or hazard awareness notice.
Source – Welfare Weekly, 12 Feb 2015
More people than ever before are contacting a homelessness helpline fearing they are about to be forced onto the streets.
The charity Shelter has spoken to more than 2,000 people in the North East in the last year on the brink of homelessness – a 28% rise since 2012.
They also found that 28 households in the region are at risk of losing their homes everyday through mortgage and landlord possession claims.
Stephanie, who lives near Chester-le-Street, said she rang Shelter after her husband was injured in a serious accident and she could not keep up with mortgage payments without his wage.
“I found myself facing homelessness when my husband had a serious accident. He ended up in hospital in intensive care for months, and with his wage no longer coming in, we really struggled to keep up with the mortgage payments.
“We weren’t able to get assistance with my husband’s care, and without his wages, we just couldn’t keep up.”
At the same time as Stephanie was trying to secure specialist care for her husband, she said she was inundated with calls about the house from her mortgage company.
Eventually this culminated in a warrant for repossession which was issued a year ago – prompting Stephanie to call Shelter for the first time.
Shelter helpline adviser Nadeem Khan, who helps people in the North East, said:
“It’s so heart-breaking to hear from families struggling to keep a roof over their heads, especially around this time of year.
“Hearing the panic in a parent’s voice when they’ve just been evicted or had their home repossessed never gets any easier. Sadly, every year we get more and more of these calls over the holidays, and this Christmas will be no different.”
The number of people at risk of homelessness who called the Shelter helpline in the North East from October 2013 to September 2014 rose to 2,055 from 1,609 between October 2011 and September 2012, an increase of 28% or 446 people over two years.
As England’s shortage of affordable homes continues to push housing costs sky high, the charity is expecting even more families to be in desperate need of its help this Christmas.
Stephanie said calling Shelter after her husband became ill has changed things around for her family and they will now have a roof over their heads this Christmas.
She said: “There was no talking down to me, no telling me what I had to do.
“They referred me to a great adviser and they were absolutely fantastic, they’ve helped me so much.”
After securing more time from the court to look for somewhere else to live, Durham County Council helped her find a suitable bungalow that will accommodate her husband when he is out of hospital.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 19 Nov 2014
The number of homeless families housed in temporary accommodation across England has risen to a five-year-high, the latest figures show.
Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 59,710 homeless households were living in temporary accommodation in England, including B&B’s, at the end of June 2014 – 6% higher than June 2013 and the highest level for five years.
Charities raised concerns earlier this year about an apparent rise in the number of ‘revenge evictions‘ (This is Money).
30% of all homeless applications between 1 April and 30 June 2014 came from private sector tenants. The figure represents a 27% increase on the same quarter in 2013 and is the most common reason given by households for becoming homeless.
Gill Payne, director of policy and external affairs at the National Housing Federation, said:
“This shocking rise in the number of families stuck in emergency housing is down to our desperate shortage of affordable homes.
“It’s completely unacceptable that we have thousands of people living in so-called temporary housing, including B&Bs, that are expensive, often in poor condition and offer no stability from which to rebuild their lives.”
Figures also show that the number of homeless families with children housed in bed and breakfasts (B&B’s) has risen by 2% to 2,130 by the end of June 2013. The number of households without children living in B&B’s increased by 6% to 4,600.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said:
“Behind every one of these shocking statistics stands a person or a family who’s gone through the tragedy of losing their home. And what’s more worrying is that we know these figures are only the tip of the iceberg.”
Jacqui McCluskey, director of policy and communications for Homeless Link, said:
“The fact that so many people are being placed in temporary accommodation should send another clear signal that there is a desperate shortage of homes that are genuinely affordable to those in greatest need. The alternative of housing people in accommodation like B&Bs is not only unsafe, but is also expensive to taxpayers.”
13,140 households were accepted as being homeless in the second quarter of this year (1 April – 30 June 2014), 2% lower than the same time in 2013.
Source – Welfare News Service, 25 Sept 2014