Families in Luton could be homeless this Christmas

Editorial image
Editorial image

Households in Luton are at the highest risk of repossession or eviction in the region, according to homeless charity Shelter.

The town is a ‘homeless hotspot’ with one in every 60 homes at risk compared to 1 in every 119 homes in the East of England on average.

Shelter has identified the areas in the UK where people face the highest likelihood of losing their home as part of its emergency fundraising appeal to help homeless children this Christmas.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It is heart-breaking to see that so many people in the East of England 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 as quickly as possible.

“We are urging anyone who can to donate to our Christmas appeal and make sure we can be there for every family facing homelessness, because no-one should be left to fight this battle on their own.”

The research is based on recorded court proceedings and other hotspots where there is a high risk of repossession or eviction include Peterborough where one in 63 homes are at risk, Stevenage (one in 65 homes) and Hertsmere (one in 73 homes).

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

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 more than 3,100 children in the East of England face waking up homeless on Christmas morning.

To make sure that Shelter can be there for everyone who needs them this Christmas, the charity has launched an emergency fundraising appeal to support its work helping homeless families.

To support Shelter’s emergency Christmas appeal visit shelter.org.uk or text HOME to 87080 and donate £3 to answer a call for help.

If you are struggling financially and are having difficulty paying your council tax or rent, please contact Luton Borough Council on 0300 790 0345 immediately for help and advice.