Newham tops charity’s home repossession risk list

Newham is one of the capital’s hotspots for home repossessions, recent figures suggest.

People in the borough are struggling to keep up with living costs and repayments, the homelessness charity Shelter said.

Failure to pay off mortgage arrears could put them at risk of court action and eventual eviction.

With six homes in every 1,000 seized in the last quarter, Newham had the third highest repossession rate in London.

The research also indicated a strong link between the figures and the borough’s high unemployment.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, 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 are living close to the edge already, and risk falling into a spiral of debt and repossession.

“The journey from being a homeowner to becoming homeless is frighteningly swift, with just one small thing like a wage cut, a health problem or a job loss meaning that a family can no longer meet their mortgage payments.

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Newham’s rate is twice that of the national average, but is behind neighbouring Barking and Dagenham and Lewisham, in south east London.

Mr Robb added: “Housing is the largest monthly cost for many homeowners, yet the affordability of housing is not getting the same government attention as the monthly costs of other essentials such as food or energy bills.