Shelter, the housing charity, has announced that the number of people in the North West contacting its helpline who could easily become homeless has increased by around 70% in the last two years.
Between October 2013 and September 2014, over 5,000 people spoke with Shelter’s helpline advisers about imminent loss of housing, nearly 4,000 more than the same period for 2012.
The number of people calling Shelter’s helpline in the North West rose by 28%, from 14,816 in 2011/2012 to nearly 17,500 in 2013/2014, a record high.
Shelter reports, through analysis of government statistics, that residents from almost 81 households in the North West risk losing their home every single day, based on mortgage/landlord possession claims issued to county courts from 1 July 2013 – 30 June 2014, when compared with the number of households rented or mortgaged in the area.
Calls at risk of homelessness to Shelter’s helpline are those defined as originating from someone literally on the verge or in the process of becoming homeless, including those needing a homeless application and/or those who have been evicted or whose tenancy has ended with no alternative accommodation. This may also involve chronic rent or mortgage arrears that result in likely eviction or repossession.
Shelter helpline adviser Nadeem Khan said:
“It’s so heartbreaking 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.”
Marks & Spencer support Shelter’s Christmas campaign by donating proceeds from products in its “Food on the Move” range. M&S have raised over £7.5 million for the charity so far.
Words: Peter Cribley