Homeowner help urged

10 February 2011

A mother, father and son

The Government must do more to help homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage, Shelter said today.

Responding to new Council of Mortgage Lenders figures out today showing there were 7,900 repossessions in the fourth quarter of 2010, Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb said:

‘Whilst it is welcome news that repossessions are falling, we still cannot underestimate how hard homeowners are finding it right now to keep a roof over their heads’.

Shelter received a record number of calls to our homeowner helpline last month, and our research recently revealed the number of people struggling to pay their mortgage has surged by 78% over the past year.

Mr Robb continued: ‘People across the country are facing a daily battle to manage their finances as they are increasingly squeezed by a vicious combination of rising living costs and wage freezes.

‘And, as the lending industry themselves recognise, there are a number of big threats on the horizon - such as interest rate rises and possible increases in unemployment – which could lead to thousands of people pushed into a spiral of debt, repossession and potential homelessness.’

Mr Robb added: ‘With someone facing the prospect of losing their home every two minutes, the Government needs to do much more to help.’

‘Having made huge cuts to Support for Mortgage Interest – a vital housing safety net for thousands of people – the Government has done nothing to take forward Lord Freud’s proposal to make lenders change their rates to help more people in need of this support.’

‘If the banks aren’t acting the Government must - and urgently drive forward this proposal so that struggling homeowners are saved from the nightmare of losing their home.’

Advice for homeowners

Worried about paying your mortgage? Get advice from our homeowner helpline