Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nightmare at Christmas for Youngsters in Region

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Nightmare at Christmas for Youngsters in Region

Article excerpt

Byline: Rachel Wearmouth Regional Affairs Reporter

ALMOST 200 North East children will wake up this Christmas homeless and in temporary accommodation, research by the charity Shelter has shown.

An analysis of Ministry of Justice data reveals 11,000 renters were put at risk of eviction last year in the region - around 200 people every week - and it is having a devastating impact on families.

A combination of rapidly-rising rents, cuts to housing benefit and a dearth of affordable homes will leave families battling to keep a roof over their heads this Christmas, Shelter's director of services Alison Mohammed says.

The figures also show that as many as 3,500 renters in the North East have already lost the fight to stay in their home, and been evicted by county court bailiffs in the last year.

The charity says one in every 80 rented households across the region has been put at risk of losing their home and identified eviction hotspots in the region.

North Tyneside topped the list with one in every 50 rented homes at risk of eviction, followed by Middlesbrough (1 in 63) and Northumberland (1 in 69).

Shelter is urgently calling on the public to help by donating to its emergency appeal.

South Tyneside Council leader Iain Malcolm, meanwhile, said there had been a 35% increase in the number of people presenting as homeless as he branded the Government's housing strategy "short-sighted".

Ms Mohammed said: "It's shocking to think that each and every week, hundreds of people in the region receive a notice through the door with the devastating news that they might lose their home.

"We speak to parents every day who are desperately trying to keep a roof over their children's heads, but with rents soaring and housing support being slashed, many are finding themselves at breaking point.

Already, 190 children in the North East will wake up homeless and in temporary accommodation this Christmas, and tragically the situation looks set to get worse. …

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