More people in South Tyneside are at risk of losing the roof over their heads than anywhere else in the North East, alarming new statistics reveal.
The figures, from the housing charity Shelter, reveal that more than 350 people in the region have faced the threat of eviction every week over the last year.
We can generally come to some arrangementIan Thompson
The charity also identified ‘home threat hotspots’ - where people are most likely to face the risk of losing their home.
South Tyneside topped that list with as many as one in every 103 homeowners and people living in the private rented sector under threat of eviction, followed by Newcastle upon Tyne (one in 112), Hartlepool (one in 114) and Middlesbrough (one in 123).
A breakdown of the borough’s figures reveals the rate of possession claims for mortgaged properties was one in 208, and for landlord-owned properties was one in just 52.
Ian Thompson, chief executive of South Tyneside Citizens Advice Bureau, revealed that cases of debt had spiralled in recent years.
Mr Thompson also had a positive message that eviction can be avoided – if help is sought.
He said: “These figures don’t come as any surprise when you consider the economic climate we have gone through.
“There is talk of the green shoots of economic recovery, but I think the North East and South Tyneside seem to be the last to see the benefits of that.
“We do encounter a lot of rent and mortgage arrears, but I must say it is rare for clients to be evicted, and we can generally come to some arrangement with the mortgage lender or landlord to avoid clients losing their properties.”
Alison Mohammed, Shelter’s director of services, said: “These figures show just how many people are fighting to keep their families in their homes.”