8,000 people at risk of losing their housing every week

Barking and Dagenham and Newham topped the list, with one in every 38 homes at risk

Updated: 
Shelter charity warns on home repossessions

More than 8,300 people a week in England have been put at risk of losing their home over the last year, research from Shelter has found.

The charity, which said this equates to 50 people an hour being put at risk, also revealed the hotspots across the country where people are most likely to face the threat of losing their home through an eviction or a repossession.

London boroughs including Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Haringey, Lewisham, Hackney, Greenwich, Southwark and Brent featured highly, and outside the capital, Slough, Peterborough, Manchester and Rochdale were also on the list.

Barking and Dagenham and Newham topped the list, with one in every 38 homes at risk of a possession claim, according to Shelter's calculations.

Shelter based its findings on the number of possession claims issued in county courts between April 1 last year and March 31 this year, using Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures.

It compared this with census information on the number of households in a particular area. A possession claim is the first stage in a court process, which can eventually lead to someone losing their home.

While London dominated much of Shelter's list, the charity said that that in Slough, one in 58 homes was found to be at risk, while in Manchester the figure was around one in 66.

Shelter said 360,000 people visited its website last year to seek information on eviction and repossession.

Nadeem Khan, a helpline adviser for Shelter, said: "We're hearing from thousands of people who have suffered in silence while they struggle to keep up with their rent or mortgage, and come to us in desperation when the court papers finally land on their doormat.

"It's natural to feel helpless in the face of mounting bills, but getting expert advice as soon as you start having trouble with housing payments can really help you see the light at the end of the tunnel, and keep the threat of losing your home at bay."

Shelter said that paying the mortgage or rent should always be a top priority and other debts such as credit card bills can be dealt with separately. It warned that taking on high-interest loans such as payday loans can quickly make a situation worse for someone who is already struggling with debts.

The charity advised people under threat of losing their home to always turn up to court possession hearings, to make sure that they can put their case to the judge.

Here are the top 20 eviction and repossession hotspots in England, according to Shelter, with the rate of possession claims per number of homes:

=1. Barking and Dagenham, London, one in 38

=1. Newham, London, one in 38

=3. Haringey, London, one in 45

=3. Lewisham, London, one in 45

=3. Hackney, London, one in 45

6. Waltham Forest, London, one in 46

=7. Enfield, London, one in 47

=7. Greenwich, London, one in 47

=7. Southwark, London, one in 47

=7. Brent, London, one in 47

11. Lambeth, London, one in 51

12. Croydon, London, one in 54

=13. Tower Hamlets, London, one in 57

=13. Ealing, London, one in 57

15. Slough, South East, one in 58

=16. Redbridge, London, one in 61

=16. Peterborough, East, one in 61

18. Hillingdon, London, one in 65

19. Manchester, North West, one in 66

20. Rochdale, North West, one in 68

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