For many months, BHT has been warning about a likely increase in the repossession of homes as people lose their jobs and the impact of austerity measures begins to be felt.
The Ministry of Justice recently reported that the number of possession claims issued in 2011 (the first stage of the repossession process) saw an increase of 4% on the previous year to 220. In West Sussex there were 775 claims and 575 in East Sussex.
In the latter part of 2011 I regularly said that the real effects of austerity measures, job losses and changes to the welfare benefit system would take several months before the real impact would be felt. We’re beginning to see, for example, the fallout from changes to housing benefit that were introduced at the beginning of this year.
I fear that when the Ministry of Justice publishes similar figures in 2013 we will see a far greater rise than the 4% reported in Brighton and Hove this year.
Behind these statistics are men and women who are being homeless for economic reasons.