England's top 15 eviction 'hotspots' are all in London, according to research published today by Shelter.
Figures released by the housing charity show that in the 12 months to September 2012, 198,470 households have been threatened with losing their home, leaving one in every 115 households at risk of becoming homeless. This equates to cities the size of Liverpool or Bristol being evicted or repossessed.
The top hotspots are all London boroughs, where the risk of repossession or eviction is double the national average, with one in every 62 homes at risk. The nation’s top hotspot, Barking and Dagenham, has more than three times as many possession claims than the rest of the country, given to one in every 37 homes.
The problem is most extreme in urban areas. Outside of London, Wolverhampton, Slough and Manchester were top hotspots, while the regions with the highest eviction risk are the North West with one in 112 homes at risk, and the West Midlands with one in 114.
The data also showed a correlation between unemployment and eviction risk, with the local authorities with the most possession claims also having the highest rates of unemployment.
Campbell Robb, chief Executive of Shelter said: “It’s truly shocking how many people in this country are living with the threat of becoming homeless. In some areas, the risk of being evicted or repossessed is so high that one home in every street could be affected.
“This report is a stark reminder that homelessness can happen to anyone – all it takes is one event such as a redundancy or relationship break up, and whole families are at risk of losing their home.
"This year more than 75,000 children will be homeless and living in temporary accommodation on Christmas Day. Shelter’s helpline and face to face advice services help prevent families from becoming homeless, and this Christmas we’re asking for everyone’s support so that we can carry on keeping families in their homes, and help them into a home should the worst happen.”
National Housing Federation Director of Neighbourhoods Gill Payne said: "There are millions of families really struggling to keep on top of their rising rents, yet their future is looking bleak.
"High housing costs are a huge financial pressure on families, and at a time when the cost of living is rising rapidly, many families are in real fear of losing their home.
"Our own report on homelessness recently showed that the numbers of people living in B&Bs and rough sleeping have already risen dramatically in the past year, so these alarming figures of thousands more families at risk of being made homeless cannot be ignored.
"We need to address the causes of rising housing costs urgently. Only by addressing the chronic undersupply of new homes can we stem the huge financial pressure on families."
The top eviction risk hotspots are:
1. Barking & Dagenham
10. Waltham Forest
Top eviction hotspots outside of London: