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Bradford is a ‘hotspot’ for homes repossessions
Bradford is a home repossession ‘hotspot’, according to new research released by housing and homelessness charity Shelter.
The district has a possession claims rate of 5.60 per 1,000 homes, compared to an English average of 3.50. This is the third highest rate in the Yorkshire and Humber region, behind Hull and Doncaster and 20th nationally.
Shelter’s ‘repossession risk hotspots’ table uses the latest figures for 2011/2012 to show where homeowners face the highest risk of repossession.
The research published today presents a stark picture of the number of homeowners at risk of losing their homes in Yorkshire and Humberside.
Out of 21 local authorities in the region, eight are ‘hotspots’, and are therefore in the top fifth of areas most at risk of repossession. Repossession risk varied widely across the region, with Doncaster, Bradford and Hull having a claim rate three times higher than York or Ryedale.
The research also uncovered a strong link between rising unemployment and repossession, with unemployment in hotspot areas rising at a much greater rate than areas with the lowest risk.
A spokesman for Bradford Council and Incommunities said: “The Council’s housing service works closely with people threatened with homelessness to offer advice and information to try to enable them to stay in their homes.
“We would always urge anyone who feels they are at risk of losing their home to contact their mortgage lender as soon as possible.
“In addition, staff at Incommunities Open Moves service are able to offer a range of assistance to anyone who is facing difficulties with mortgage arrears.
“This includes the option of applying to mortgage rescue schemes run on behalf of the Council. Staff are also available to help people with debt advice or if needed assistance to find alternative suitable rented accommodation.
“To contact Open Moves ring 0845 141 6666.”
Chief executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb, said: “Most people think that repossession will never happen to them. However rising unemployment, high living costs and high house prices mean that many people in Yorkshire and Humberside are living close to the edge already, and risk falling into a spiral of debt and repossession.
“If you are struggling with mortgage arrears, you may be able to negotiate with your mortgage provider and avoid repossession, so seek advice from organisations like Shelter as soon as your problems start. Visit shelter.org.uk/advice or call free on 08088 004 444.”