New research by the housing and homelessness charity Shelter claims Corby is the East Midlands’ home repossession hotspot.
The charity, which has published its findings today, Thursday, June 28, has used the latest figures for 2011/12 to show where homeowners face the highest risk of having their home repossessed. As well as being the top out of 40 areas in the East Midlands, the town is ranked 24th out of 324 places in the country, followed by Northampton, Nottingham, Wellingborough and Bolsover.
Wellingborough is ranked fourth our of 40 in the East Midlands and 53rd out of 324 nationally and East Northants is eighth in the region and 75th nationally.
The charity says there were 5.48 possession claims per 1,000 homes in Corby, with the figure for Wellingborough 4.89 and 4.38 for the East Northants area. The national figure is 3.5.
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 the East Midlands 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.
“When repossession happens, the impact on families is devastating – research shows people think repossession is worse than having to fight a child custody battle.
“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.
“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.”
The charity says the number of homes at risk of repossession varied widely across the region. Corby has exactly four times as many homes at risk of repossession as the lowest risk authority, Ruschcliffe, and nearly three times as many as Rutland and the Deryshire Dales.
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.
People worried about having their home repossessed are asked to visit shelter.org.uk/advice or call free on 08088 004 444.