Eviction Risk Monitor

By: Liam Reynolds  Published: December 2011

Every day at Shelter we see families on the brink of losing their home - a traumatic experience that can have lasting effects on wellbeing and family life, from disrupting children’s education to triggering stress and depression. Indeed, the public perceive repossession and homelessness to be two of the three most serious civil problems anyone could face. For many of those facing this threat, the tipping point can be an unexpected life event: illness, relationship breakdown or the temporary loss of a job. Suddenly, debt can spiral out of control, making homelessness a very real threat.


In this Eviction Risk Monitor research, we have analysed the number and location of possession claims issued in England. A possession claim is an advanced stage in the possession process. While not all households issued with a claim will end up being evicted, a claim is a good indication of the extent to which families are struggling to keep up with their housing costs and their potential exposure to losing their home. Furthermore, a possession claim is not the start of the difficulty for families. It’s often preceded by months of financial trouble which impacts a great many more people, with previous Shelter research showing that a third of people are struggling or failing to meet their housing costs.

This research shows that the threat of receiving a possession claim on your home is spread across the country. While rural areas don’t escape, risk of eviction is greater in cities and other urban areas, notably London. The twelve local authorities with the highest rates of eviction risk are all located in London, further evidence of the phenomenal pressure on families in the capital, partly as a result of high housing costs.


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