Hackney residents among those most at risk of eviction

Hackney residents are among the most at risk in England when it comes to being evicted or having their homes repossessed, according to new research published by a homelessness charity.

Nearly 3 per cent of homes in Hackney had a possession claim made against them, with orders served on 2,050 homes between September 2010 and October 2011. That equates to 20.8 homes out of every 1,000, or 2.8 per cent.

The borough is number five on the list of most vulnerable housing areas according to the housing charity Shelter, which collated national data to draw up an ‘eviction risk map’ last week.

Although not every possession claim leads to an eviction, it puts the household in an ‘at risk’ category because legal proceedings have been issued by the resident’s private or social landlord, or their mortgage lender.

The other boroughs in the top ten were all in London, with Barking and Dagenham claiming the unfortunate top spot with 25.8 homes out of every 1,000 being served with a possession order – a total of 1,850 homes.

Hackney’s neighbouring boroughs of Newham and Haringey come in at second and third respectively, while Brent sits at number four on the list.

The charity’s map shows that areas with high unemployment tend to be hit hardest by high eviction rates. Hackney’s unemployment rate has been rising in the tough economic climate, with 10.3 per cent of people unemployed in the borough between April 2010 and March this year.

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Shelter’s chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: “As Christmas approaches, this research paints a frightening picture of thousands of families in London living every day with the fear of losing their home hanging over their heads.

“In these unforgiving conditions, it only takes one thing – illness, job loss or relationship breakdown – to lead to things spiralling out of control and into homelessness.

“It’s vital that anyone struggling with housing costs seeks help immediately to give them the best chance of keeping their home.”

• Residents worried about their housing situation should visit www.shelter.org.uk/advice or call 0808 800 4444. Anyone wishing to donate to the charity should visit www.shelter.org.uk/Christmas.