Families facing up to threat of eviction

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One in every 72 St Helens homes are at risk of eviction or repossession, according to new statistics released by the homeless charity Shelter.

There were more than 1,050 mortgage and landlord repossessions in across the borough between October 2012 and September 2013 - ranking it fourth out of 39 authorities across the region.

Shelter’s research, based on recorded court proceedings, found that only homes in Salford, Manchester and Oldham were at greater risk of eviction or repossession than those in St Helens.

The Shelter helpline is already taking more than 470 calls each day, offering vital support and advice to homeless families and those still fighting to stay in their homes.

And, with housing costs soaring and welfare cuts continuing to take their toll, the charity is bracing itself for a record number of calls this Christmas from families on the brink of homelessness.

New data released earlier this month showed that 820 children in the North West face waking up homeless on Christmas morning.

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “It is heart-breaking to see that so many people in the North West face spending Christmas with the threat of losing their home hanging over them. This is a frightening reminder that homelessness can happen to anyone.

“Times are tough, and these days it doesn’t take much to tip a family into the spiral that leads to homelessness. The government needs to rebuild our shredded housing safety net so that it’s there to catch those that fall on hard times, and allow them to get back on their feet.”

To support Shelter’s emergency Christmas appeal go online at shelter.org.uk or text HOME to 87080 to donate £3.