More than 148,000 renting households – equivalent to 350,000 people – were put at risk of losing their home in the 12 months to April, according to a new analysis of government figures by housing charity Shelter.
People renting in the London boroughs of Enfield, and Barking and Dagenham faced the greatest risk of eviction, the charity said. In each of these boroughs, one in 23 rented homes were “under threat” during the period in question – which worked out as 2,314 households in Enfield, and 1,647 in Barking and Dagenham.
In the boroughs of Havering and Croydon it was one in 27, and in Ealing, one in 28, though Shelter said this was a problem that “stretches far beyond London”.
Areas such as Luton (one in 28 rented homes at risk), Thurrock in Essex (one in 34) and Peterborough (one in 35) also made it into the top 20 areas most at risk.
Shelter calculated the figures by comparing the total number of possession claims issued in each area in the last 12 months with the total number of renting households in each location.
A possession claim is the first stage in a court process which can end with someone losing their home. Data on the number of possession claims issued in county courts is published by the Ministry of Justice, and the figures for this study cover the period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016. Meanwhile, the number of rented households in each area was calculated using the 2011 Census and 2012-based household projections from the Office for National Statistics.
Shelter also reported that the volume of people facing eviction who were approaching the charity for advice “was getting higher and higher”.
A spokeswoman said: “In the past year alone, over 9,800 people facing eviction have called the Shelter helpline for advice, and 500,000 people have visited the Shelter website’s eviction advice pages.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010