29 Dec 2011

Possession misery

Shelter have completed their Eviction Risk Monitor research looking at the number and location of possession claims issued in England. Every two minutes someone faces losing their home and an astonishing 70,000 children will have woken up on Christmas day in temporary accommodation.

A possession claim is an advanced stage in the possession process, and while not all households issued with a claim will end up being evicted, a claim is a good indication of the extent to which families are struggling to keep up with their housing costs and their potential exposure to losing their home.

You can see their research report with links to advice at: http://england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns/housing_issues/eviction_risk_monitor

Homelessness is up 13% on last year according to government figures. Shelter's research found that part of that was made up by a worrying 8% increase in possession claims in the rented sector. Stroud is thankfully well down the list with possession claims being in the lowest 10% of local authorities - but that is still 205 possession claims.

All this seems so unjust in a world where we have more than enough homes for everyone - it is just some have several homes and many our empty - indeed the number of empty homes is now at around one million and these would house all on the waiting list. There is much opportunity to reduce the pressure on our local green field sites by converting dormant housing stock and breathing new life into communities. It is time the government made the right sort of incentives to get those properties back into life.

See here my letter to the press about the housing time bomb in Stroud.

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