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Housing charity slams 'devastating' rent rises

Shelter has described the latest figures on rent prices as "devastating news" for renters.

As more people are priced out of home ownership and waiting lists grow longer, too many families are being left trapped in the unstable and expensive private rental market.

Every day Shelter hears from people who are having to cut back on essentials as they struggle to pay their rent each month. With wages flat-lining, the fact that rents have reached record highs means that even more people will find it harder and harder to make ends meet.

We need the Government to fix our rental market to provide more security and get on with building many more genuinely affordable homes.

– Roger Harding, Shelter's director of campaigns, policy and communications

Read: Private rents soar to record high

Housing charity urge Govt to ditch Help to Buy scheme

The Government should ditch its new Help to Buy scheme because two-thirds of Britons do not want house prices to rise, housing charity Shelter said.

Housing charity Shelter wants the government to ditch the new scheme. Credit: PA

Read our guide to the Help to Buy scheme

Some 66% of 4,500 people surveyed this month want prices to fall or remain stable rather than another period of "boom and bust", the charity said.

Despite some recent surveys suggesting that rising house prices are improving the mood of consumer confidence, Shelter's findings show that Britons are finding the idea of escalating prices a turn-off.

In June, 58% ofpeople wanted to see prices remain stable or fall when surveyed, meaning there has been an 8% increase in those wary over prices, Shelter's figures suggest.

Shelter argued that the Help to Buy mortgage scheme, which allows those with a deposit as low as 5% to get on the property ladder, is the "wrong solution" to the country's housing problems as it will only encourage people to take on more debt with bigger mortgages.

Read: Help to Buy - banks plunge into 95% mortgage market

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Government claim 'repossessions have fallen'

The Government has denied that the number of repossession claims across England have increased, insisting the numbers have fallen over the past 12 months.

The charity Shelter, who released the figures, warned that families were "living on a knife-edge".

However, a Government spokesman denied the claims saying:

Latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show the numbers of home repossessions haven fallen 8% over the past 12 months and are at their lowest level for six years.

But we are not complacent. Our welfare reforms are ensuring that clear protection is in place, we've maintained the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme and our £470 million funding to councils means we continue to have a strong safety net against homelessness.

Homelessness charity: 'Families living on a knife-edge'

An increased number of families are finding themselves "living on a knife-edge" as they struggle to cope with the rising cost of living, a leading charity has warned.

Figures released by the charity Shelter show the number of repossession claims across England has increased.

As many as one home in every street in some places of England are at risk of being repossessed, Shelter has warned Credit: PA Wire

The chief executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb, said: "This research shows that thousands of families all over England are dealing with the devastating possibility of losing their home. In some places as many as one home in every street is now at risk."

"With less job security and the rising cost of living and housing these days, many more families are finding themselves living on a knife-edge. Just one thing, like a job loss or illness, could tip them into a spiral that puts their home at risk."

Increased repossession claims 'threaten families'

As many as one home in every street in some places of England are at risk of being repossessed, a leading housing and homelessness charity has said.

The number of possession claims across England has increased, according to figures released by Shelter.

The number of possession claims across England has increased, Shelter said. Credit: PA Wire

Between July last year and June the biggest increase in possession and eviction claims was recorded in Richmondshire, North Yorkshire, rocketing by 80.3%.

Newham in East London has the highest number of homes at risk of being repossessed, at one in every 35.

The charity said unemployment and the cost of living were leaving many households on a "knife-edge".

Shelter: Help to buy 'not going to work'

The Government's flagship Help to Buy scheme is "frankly not going to work" for a lot of families on an annual income between £20,000 and £40,000, a leading housing charity has told Daybreak.

Figures released by Shelter show low to middle income families struggling to keep up with mortgage payments on a family sized home, even if they are using the Help to Buy Scheme.

Shelter's Roger Harding wanted to get rid of the "confusing criteria" potential homeowners had to go through and focus on "one single big shared ownership scheme".

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Shelter: Major house building programme needed

Houses
A mass building programme of shard homes is the answer to Britain's housing crisis, say Shelter Credit: PA

A major new housing building programme is needed if the UK is to avoid a crisis in home ownership, a homeless charity warned.

Data released by Shelter showed 95 percent of middle income families would be able to afford mortgage repayments if home ownership was shared.

However, one in four low to middle income families would be stuck privately renting or unable to move off the first rung of the property ladder if nothing was done.

An investment of £12 billion could build 600,000 new shared ownership homes, say Shelter.

Renters warned over gas safety

Tens of thousands of private renters could be at risk from gas safety hazards, according to housing charity Shelter and British Gas.

One in 10 people say their landlord or letting agent had failed to ensure a gas safety check was carried out in their home in the last year, a study of more than 4,300 private renters found. Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said:

It's absolutely vital that renters are aware of the need to get an annual gas safety check. Meanwhile, landlords need to know that gas safety is not optional. Failing to get a gas safety certificate can put lives at risk.

An annual gas safety check and certificate is required by law and is the legal responsibility of the landlord.

Shelter: 'People don't need to lose their homes'

Housing charity Shelter has told Daybreak that anyone struggling with mortgage and rent payments must seek help.

Antonia Vance, Shelter Credit: Daybreak

It comes as a survey has found that around eight million Britons are just one month's salary away from struggling to pay for their home.

Antonia Vance from Shelter said: "Talk to your lender, talk to your landlord, and work out what your options are, there is help available and people don't need to lose their homes.

Read: Eight million Britons at risk of losing their homes

Eight million Britons at risk of losing their homes

Around eight million Britons are just one month's salary away from struggling to pay for their home, a charity has warned.

According to Shelter, some 35 per cent of workers do not have enough savings to cover rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lose their job.

Shelter said it is bracing itself for a "surge in demand" as a recent round of benefit changes Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Almost a fifth of working adults said if they lost their job and could not find another right away, they would be unable to make any payments at all.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "The depth of the financial pressure and insecurity felt by people across the country means that millions are living on the edge of a crisis, only secure in their homes for a matter of weeks."

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