Ashfield has high rate of home repossessions

ASHFIELD has a high rate of home repossessions as the ongoing financial crisis continues to take its toll.

Homelessness charity Shelter has revealed a map of ‘repossession risk hotspots’ across the country, based on the number of possession claims for homes issued in each local authority area in England in 2011/12.

The map puts Bolsover district in the highest 20 per cent of local authority areas at risk, with a ranking of the 56th most at risk out of 324 council areas.

There were 135 mortgage possession claims made in Bolsover in the last financial year, equating to 4.89 claims per 1,000 homes.

Both Ashfield district and Mansfield district are identified as being in the second highest 20 per cent of local authorities at risk of repossession.

Ashfield is ranked as 79th most at risk, with 190 mortgage possession claims made last year, a rate of 4.31 mortgage possession claims per 1,000 homes.

Mansfield is ranked 76th, with 165 mortgage possession claims made in 2011/12. This gives a rate of 4.36 claims per 1,000 homes.

Bolsover District Council’s housing boss, Coun Keith Bowman said that they are are aware of the problems relating to repossessions in the district and have received data indicating the areas most at risk.

“We are working hard to help residents wherever possible by providing them with good, sound housing advice, but it is extremely important that if anyone does find themselves getting into difficulties that they contact us at the earliest opportunity so we can help, assist and advise them on their best course of action,” he said.

Campbell Robb, chief executive at Shelter, said that the hotspot areas for home repossession also suffer from higher unemployment.

“The journey from being a homeowner to becoming homeless can be 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,” he said.

Sue Davis, chief executive of Ashfield Citizens Advice Bureau, said that her team are seeing more clients than ever who are at risk of losing their homes.

“We try as much as we can to prevent repossessions using initiatives like the ‘Mortgage Rescue Scheme’ in liaison with Ashfield District Council’s Housing Options Team.However, we are dealing with many cases where repossession is inevitable,” she added.