Over 2,000 Peterborough households face being evicted from their home due to poverty says charity

More than 2,000 renters in Peterborough are at risk of losing their home because of poverty and eviction by their landlord according to homeless charity Shelter.

Wednesday, 15th June 2016, 5:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:56 pm
Protestors outside Peterborough Magistrates' Court last year highlighting issues surrounding homelessness in the city

The city ranks in the top 20 locations in the city for renters at risk of losing their home and is one of only four areas outside of London, the others being Luton, Thurrock, and Halton.

In total around 350,000 renters in England have been put at risk of eviction in the last year.

In Peterborough, 882 renting households made up of 2,091 people are at risk of eviction according to Shelter - that’s one in 35 renting households in the city.

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Shelter, whose figures include private and social renters, named Enfield in London as the country’s top “home threat hotspot” - with one in 23 rented homes there under threat of eviction in the last year.

Its analysis of figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) found more than 148,000 renting households in England were put at risk of losing their home between April 2015 and March 2016. This equates to one in every 55 renting households across England.

The MoJ figures record possession claims, which are the first stage in a court process which can ultimately end with the loss of a home.

The charity 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.

Nadeem Khan, a helpline adviser for Shelter, said: “Every day at Shelter we hear from people who are struggling to keep up with their rent, many in total desperation after the court papers land on their doormat and the threat of being evicted becomes very real.”

Shelter said if someone is struggling to pay their housing costs, they should get help as soon as possible. Paying rent to keep a roof over your head should always be the number one priority over debts such as credit cards and phone bills, it said.

It said those struggling should respond to letters and phone calls from their landlord or letting agent and keep records of them.

If the situation ends up in court, renters should make sure they attend a possession hearing so they can put their case to the judge, Shelter said.

Shelter said people facing eviction can get help from its website at www.shelter.org.uk/advice.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) pointed out that many claims started in the courts will not lead to evictions.

A DCLG spokesman said: “The latest quarterly figures show that all stages of landlord repossessions have gone down compared to the same time last year.

“We’ve introduced measures to ensure tenants get a fair deal, are aware of their rights and are protected from retaliatory evictions.

“We’ve also doubled the housing budget and are investing GBP8 billion to build 400,000 affordable homes, including quality homes for rent.”