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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Credit crunch hitting home

Today's Wales on Sunday brandishes figures from Shelter Cymru showing that a struggling homeowner faces eviction every 13 minutes because they cannot keep up with crippling mortgage repayments.

They say that Wales is suffering disproportionately more than England: Homeowners are struggling so much that repossessions have rocketed to a 15-year high; Court actions have shot up by a staggering 200% in 12 months; Eight times more people are being booted out of their homes than last year in parts of the nation; and Wales is now the second least affordable place to live in the whole of the UK.

The Deputy Housing Minister was giving evidence to the Communities and Culture Committee last week and outlined some of the measures that the Welsh Government are taking to try and help. They are doing their best in difficult circumstances but as I said then, we need to better publicise how people can access mortgage rescue and other support services. Early intervention is imperative but in my experience advice services are so snowed under with emergency cases they do not have the resources to do prevention work as well.

What is more the paper highlights some of the dodgier mortgage rescue schemes being run by private companies that can leave a family living in their own home on a short-term tenancy and in danger of eviction at any time. It is because I believe that people need to be kept away from these schemes if at all possible that I want to see more pro-active marketing of the Welsh Government's programmes. Let us hope that they take up the challenge.
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