Headlines: November 1st, 2011

An estimated 35,000 people across Britain face the prospect of losing their home between now and Christmas day, Shelter says today.

The warning comes as the charity launches its new advertising campaign showing that every two minutes someone faces losing their home. This could mean an estimated 35,000 people – 630 people a day – will receive a letter threatening the loss of their home between now and Christmas which could see them ending up in court, fighting to keep their home.

The trauma of going through this experience is exposed in new research by the charity which reveals 61 per cent of people who have experienced homelessness or the threat of homelessness said that it directly led to a stress related illness, while 70 percent said they spent most of their time worrying about it.

The research also explored how the general public would feel if they were to face losing their home. When asked to rate the severity of certain life experiences, being threatened with homelessness came out as a more severe experience to go through than being burgled, assaulted, or having to fight over children following divorce.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter said: “This research shows the shocking impact that homelessness has on people’s lives. We know only too well that being made homelessness, or living each day under the constant threat of homelessness, is a horrific experience that can tear families apart.

He added: “And with someone facing losing their home every two minutes, the reality is this is a fate that could happen to anyone of us. All it takes is one small thing, such as an illness or financial trouble, and things can soon spiral out of control. Whilst this research shows people can barely comprehend having to go through this experience, it’s possible that 35,000 people could face this prospect between now and Christmas day.”