Wales

Rise in social housing repossessions, charity says

Social housing Image copyright Google
Image caption Shelter Cymru said social housing tenants had suffered due to welfare changes

The number of social housing tenants who have had their homes repossessed has risen by 12% in the past year, a charity has said.

Shelter Cymru said evictions were at a seven-year high after analysing Ministry of Justice data on court possessions.

It comes as the number of mortgaged property repossessions in recent years has fallen.

A total of 958 social housing tenants had their homes repossessed.

Across all types of rental, nearly 2,200 householders lost their homes.

Shelter Cymru's director John Puzey said: "This year has been particularly tough for social tenants, many of whom have suffered due to changes in welfare benefits and the rising costs of living.

"We have been working with landlords to ensure that they are doing everything they can to help tenants stay afloat - but these figures show that more clearly needs to be done."

A spokesperson for the Welsh government said it had repeatedly expressed its concern about the scale, scope and speed of the UK government's welfare reform and its impact on the people of Wales.

"We are doing all we can to help mitigate these effects and are investing over £11m to prevent homelessness in the next financial year," a spokesman added.

"The latest official statistics show homelessness fell by 8% during April to June 2014 compared with the previous year. This is promising, however, we're determined to do more to tackle the problem."

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