More than 500 households a week are at risk of losing their home

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More than 500 households a week are at risk of losing their home

More than 30,000 homes in the North West are at risk of eviction or repossession, the equivalent of 582 households threatened every week, according to new figures released today by Shelter.

The research is based on data recorded by the Ministry of Justice over the last financial year, showing how many home owners and private or social renters have received a possession notice for their home.

Shelter is warning that despite the beginnings of economic recovery, growing numbers of families are still set to struggle in the future. It predicts that with the majority of families already struggling month to month with their housing costs and interest rates set to rise, many could soon hit danger levels.

Shelter’s free advice helpline is currently taking more than 480 calls each day, offering vital support and advice to homeless families and those still fighting to stay in their homes.

The charity is stressing that people must get advice as soon as possible to prevent arrears from spiralling out of control, and start preparing for future mortgage or rent rises.

Liz Clare, helpline adviser for Shelter, said: “We’re hearing from a growing number of people who’ve reached crisis point and picked up the phone, often with the court papers in their hand.

“It’s natural to hope mounting bills and arrears will go away, but the best thing to do is get expert advice straight away. There’s absolutely no shame in getting help and a specialist adviser can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “These staggering figures show just how many families in the North West go through the trauma of learning that their home is at risk, every single week.

“People are hearing that the economy is recovering, but we’re seeing the reality that many families across the country are still battling to keep their heads above water and keep their homes. Just one thing such as a job loss or serious illness can tip any of us in to a downward spiral that puts our home at risk. Our message is that no one should battle alone. Shelter can help.

“Getting advice early is the best way to halt the spiral of rent or mortgage arrears and can mean the difference between losing a home and keeping it.”

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