'1 in 99 households in Bolton at risk of eviction or repossession'
ONE in 99 households in Bolton are at risk of eviction or repossession, according to a new study.
Charity Shelter looked at court records between October, 2012, and September, 2013, to find out which UK regions had people most at risk of being made homeless.
There were 1,178 mortgage or landlord possession claims made against Bolton households during that time.
Bolton was the 75th worst out of 325 local authorities, but fared better than Salford and Manchester, where the rates were one in 61 and one in 64 respectively.
Shelter claims the study shows the government must rebuild the UK’s “shredded” housing safety net.
Bolton Council acknowledged the distress caused to people by the threat of losing their home, but said Shelter’s figures were misleading.
It argued that many defendants missed planned court appeals, while most people appearing in court ultimately retained their home.
A Bolton Council spokesman said: “It is distressing for anyone facing the prospect of losing their home and we work with as many households as possible, both home owners and tenants, to help them prevent this from happening.
“We recognise people can find themselves in financial difficulty and it is essential that they are provided with the right help and advice to mitigate the effects.”
Bolton at Home said Shelter’s report highlights the pressures on households, but new measures were in place to ensure people evicted because of arrears associated with the so-called “bedroom tax” are rehoused.
Chief executive Jon Lord said: “We’ve seen first-hand the impact of the government’s welfare cuts and bedroom tax. That’s why we also introduced a ‘no homelessness’ policy to lessen the impact on our tenants.”
He added: “Repossession has become the last resort.
“The government has had various schemes to reduce repossession rates and these seem to have made an impact.”
Across the North West, Shelter estimated that one in every 103 households faced losing their homes.
Bolton at Home tenants can contact the provider for debt or money advice on 01204 328238.