Homelessness threat for families

NEARLY 13,000 households in the South West are at risk of losing their homes, new statistics have revealed.

According to housing charity Shelter, one in every 179 households in the region is in danger of eviction or repossession.

Its research is based on recorded court proceedings to find the areas where people face the highest likelihood of losing their home.

It was carried out as part of its emergency fundraising appeal to help homeless children this Christmas.

The Shelter helpline is already taking more than 470 calls each day, offering vital support and advice to homeless families and those still fighting to stay in their homes.

South Gloucestershire and Stroud District councils have a slightly better than average rate of risk, with one in 219 householders in danger of eviction or repossession in South Gloucestershire and Stroud having a figure of one in 260.

In the year from October 2012 to September 2013 the number of mortgage and landlord possession claims recorded were 490 in South Gloucestershire and 184 in Stroud.

New data released also released earlier this month showed that more than 2,000 children in the South West faced waking up homeless on Christmas morning.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It is heart-breaking to see that so many people in the South West face spending Christmas with the threat of losing their home hanging over them. This is a frightening reminder that homelessness can happen to anyone.

“Times are tough, and these days it doesn’t take much to tip a family into the spiral that leads to homelessness. The Government needs to rebuild our shredded housing safety net so that it’s there to catch those that fall on hard times and allow them to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

“We are urging anyone who can to donate to our Christmas appeal and make sure we can be there for every family facing homelessness, because no-one should be left to fight this battle on their own.”

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