Over 1,700 lose their homes in Sunderland

Hundreds of families in Sunderland were tipped into homelessness during the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic, new figures reveal.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show that 1,720 households in the city sought council support after becoming homeless between April 2020 and the end of September 2021 – 288 of them being families with children.

In England, the figures was 222,360 families and housing charity Shelter says thousands more are at risk of losing the roof over their heads as living costs rise.

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Bailiff-enforced evictions were banned during the pandemic – with the ban lifted in England in May.

Homelessness increases

In the first three months after the ban was lifted, the data shows 250 households in Sunderland became homeless – down from 327 during the same period in 2020.

Osama Bhutta, director of campaigns at Shelter, said the pandemic has been "atrocious" for struggling families.

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She added: “Now, living costs are spiralling and all the protections are gone, even more people will be at risk of losing their homes.

“The economic impact of the pandemic has exposed the true cost of decades of failure to build the social homes we need, leaving millions in insecure homes they can barely afford."

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A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said its actions had helped keep thousands of people in their homes.

A spokeswoman added: “Government interventions have also prevented almost 450,000 households from becoming homeless since 2017, supported by an extra £316m this year, and we will also be ending no-fault evictions as soon as we can.”