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Weekly Edition - Published 06 June 2015


Local News Report - Mobile Page


Almost 1,200 people every week are being put at risk of losing their home in the North West

ALARMING new figures from housing charity Shelter have revealed more than 1,200 people in the North West were put at risk of losing their home every week in the last year.

In an analysis of statistics from the Ministry of Justice, the charity identified how many people are at risk of eviction and repossession as well as the 'home threat hotspots' across the North West where people are most likely to face the risk of losing their home.

Manchester topped the list in the North West with as many as 1 in every 66 homes under threat of eviction or repossession, followed by Rochdale (1 in 68), Salford (1 in 76) and Knowlsley (1 in 76). And these shocking figures are borne out by the sheer number of people visiting the Shelter website looking for advice on repossession and eviction, with 360,000 unique visits in the last year alone.

Bill Murdoch, 52, lost his job as a bus driver after suddenly losing the sight in 1 eye last year. Things started spiralling downwards when he missed two payments on a loan secured against his home, and he contacted Shelter for help.  "I'd always done my job with a smile on my face but once I lost my sight, it was over. The bills started to mount up and, even though we'd had been making the payments without fail for years, the loan company told us they were going to take away our home. Coming on top of losing my sight and my job, stressed doesn't begin to describe how I felt when our home was under threat. I have never been more terrified than I was on the day the court order came. The only thing that gave me hope was when I contacted Shelter who helped us through the court process. If it wasn't for that, we'd have lost everything."

Nadeem Khan, 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."

Alison Mohammed, Shelter's director of services, said:- "These staggering figures show just how many people are fighting to keep their families in their homes, after dealing with the double blow of welfare cuts and a drastic shortage of affordable housing. We're doing everything we can to give advice and support to anyone who faces losing the roof over their heads, but the government must also play its part by putting a stop to further cuts to the safety net, which helps ordinary families stay in their homes."

Shelter helps 4 million people a year fight bad housing and homelessness through its online, helpline and face to face services. For free, expert advice from Shelter visit:- Shelter.Org.UK/Advice  or call the helpline on:- 0808 800 4444.


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