Hun­dreds face evic­tion threat

High rents and wel­fare changes to blame

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­

NEARLY 1,000 peo­ple in Hilling­don are fac­ing evic­tion, new anal­y­sis of of­fi­cial gov­ern­ment data shows.

Land­lord pos­ses­sion claims were is­sued on 378 house­holds in the bor­ough be­tween July 1, 2014 and Septem­ber 30, 2014, ac­cord­ing to Min­istry of Jus­tice (MoJ) fig­ures.

A pos­ses­sion claim is the first stage in a court process that can end in evic­tion.

By mul­ti­ply­ing the num­ber of af­fected house­holds by the av­er­age num­ber of oc­cu­pants for the area, home­less­ness char­ity Shel­ter has cal­cu­lated that a to­tal of 945 peo­ple in the bor­ough are im­pacted.

The char­ity, which helps peo­ple strug­gling with bad hous­ing or home­less­ness

TJG1ST and aims to pre­vent it, said: “With a com­bi­na­tion of sky-high rents in the cap­i­tal, un­sta­ble short­term ten­an­cies and wel­fare changes con­tin­u­ing to leave many fam­i­lies on a fi­nan­cial knife-edge, the char­ity is ex­pect­ing even more peo­ple to be in des­per­ate need of its as­sis­tance in the com­ing year.”

Ac­cord­ing to the anal­y­sis, more than 31,000 peo­ple across Lon­don are at risk of evic­tion.

Shel­ter says it is now re­ceiv­ing more than 300 calls a month from Lon­don­ers fac­ing evic­tion – an in­crease of al­most 40 per cent com­pared to two years ago.

The char­ity is urg­ing Lon­don­ers to take part in its big­gest fundraiser of the year, Ver­ti­cal Rush, at Tower 42, in Old Broad Street, City of Lon­don, on March 3.

Par­tic­i­pants will race up all 932 steps of the tower – the third tallest sky­scraper in the City of Lon­don – with the aim of rais­ing £360,000 for the char­ity’s emer­gency helpline.

Camp­bell Robb, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Shel­ter, said: “Be­ing told that you could lose your home is a fright­en­ing re­al­ity for any­one.

“As the cap­i­tal’s chronic short­age of af­ford­able homes con­tin­ues to push rents sky high, it’s get­ting harder and harder for fam­i­lies to keep a roof over their heads.

“When the worst hap­pens, Shel­ter is of­ten the only place where peo­ple can turn for help.

“Our ad­vis­ers can be the dif­fer­ence be­tween a fam­ily los­ing their home and keep­ing it.”

To sign up to the fundraiser, visit www. shel­­ti­cal­rush.

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