Figures shows 28 households face losing their home every day in the North East

Research by Shelter found that in the last year more than 10,300 homes in the region were at risk of eviction or repossession

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter
Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter

Every day, 28 households in the North East face losing their home, according to new analysis from Shelter.

The homelessness charity examined Ministry of Justice data and found that over the past year, more than 10,300 homes in the region have been at risk of eviction or repossession.

It also revealed the authority areas where residents are most likely to face the prospect of losing the roof over the head, with South Tyneside and Newcastle city topping the list.

Other hotspots in the region’s top 10 included Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Darlington.

Shelter says sky-high housing costs are pushing more and more families in the North East to the brink, meaning an illness or job loss can be all it takes to them facing homelessness.

Campbell Robb, the charity’s chief executive, said the organisation is struggling to meet demand as since 2011 the number of callers nationwide struggling with rent arrears have more than doubled, while those calling about mortgage arrears rose by nearly a fifth.

He added: “28 households at risk of losing their home every day is 28 too many. Each one of these will have had their lives turned upside down by this experience, as they faced seeing their home, the foundation of their life, ripped away from underneath them.

“Tragically we are seeing more and more people coming to us for help, people who have been struggling to make ends meet and then just one change of circumstances has pushed them spiralling towards homelessness.

“We urgently need people’s support so we can help more people in the North East avoid the nightmare of losing their home.”

The figures are based on mortgage and landlord possession claims issued in county courts between July 1, 2013, and June 30, 2014. A possession claim is the first stage in a process which can end with the loss of a home.

Shona Alexander is the chief executive of Newcastle Citizens Advice Bureau and is also seeing more and more people facing the threat of homelessness.

She said: “Continued unemployment, reduced working hours, illness, benefit sanctions and the bedroom tax have all contributed, and as the housing market picks up more landlords who rented their properties are evicting their tenants so they can sell.

“But the biggest problem is that people are coming to us too late for help - after they have received their final warnings. Nobody and no council wants people to be made homeless but there are laws that have to be abided by.

“We would urge people to take advantage of our free support because we can help people cope with their debts.”

Visit newcastlecab.org.uk.

Top 10 eviction and repossession risk areas in the North East region, from July 2013 to June 2014:

Regional Rank (by rate of possession claims on rented/ mortgaged households)

1. South Tyneside

2. Newcastle upon Tyne

3. North Tyneside

4. Hartlepool

5. County Durham

6. Middlesbrough

7. Stockton-on-Tees

8. Northumberland

9. Darlington

10. Gateshead

 
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