Homeless charity Shelter has slammed “relentless rent rises and welfare cuts”, which they claim “has contributed to thousands of hard-pressed families losing their home”.
Figures published by the Ministry of Justice show a 47% increase in evictions by bailiffs since housing benefit cuts were introduced in 2011. More than 10,000 households lost their homes between April and June 2015.
The data shows that the majority of landlord repossession claims came from social landlords. Between April and June 2015 there were 21,160 (58%) repossession claims from social landlords, compared to 5,038 (14%) from private landlords.
10,014 (28%) claims were made using accelerated procedures, reports 24Dash.com. The proportion of repossession claims made using these provisons increased from 7% in 1999 to 22% in 2014. As much as 64% of these in 2014 were made by social landlords, while only 14% were made by private landlords.
All but one of the top twenty local authorities with the highest proportion of repossession claims were in London. The London borough of Newham came top with 552 per 100,000 households.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “These figures are a stark warning that relentless rent rises and welfare cuts have contributed to thousands of hard-pressed families losing their home.
“Every day at Shelter we see the human cost of the country’s unfolding affordability crisis with growing numbers of families finding themselves on the verge of homelessness, and petrified that any small drop in income could leave them with the bailiffs knocking at the door.
“More cuts to housing benefit, while doing nothing to tackle the ridiculous cost of housing, is short-sighted at best.
“If the government really wants to fix the housing crisis and bring down rents so people can afford them without needing support, the only answer is to invest in building genuinely affordable homes.”