[Image: Order of Truth.]

[Image: Order of Truth.]

The cost of benefits cuts is starting to filter through as record numbers of people lost their homes by the end of September, according to Hilary Osborne in The Guardian.

The number of tenant households in England and Wales evicted from their homes hit record levels in the third quarter of the year, with cuts to social security among the factors leading to more than 100 evictions a day. Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that 11,100 rented properties were repossessed by bailiffs between July and September, the highest quarterly figure since the records began in 2000. In contrast, just 2,805 mortgage borrowers lost their homes.

By the end of September, more than 30,000 tenant households had lost their homes, and the figure is on track to be higher than the 37,792 recorded in 2013. The eviction figures do not show who owns the rental properties in question, but recently a large proportion of possession claims have been made by social landlords such as local councils and housing associations, who have warned it is caused by the introduction of the bedroom tax.

Meanwhile figures from the government showed that although the number of new homes created in England rose by 10% in 2013/14, it remained almost 100,000 down on the figure reached before the financial crisis, and below the number experts say are needed to keep up with demand.

Official government figures showed that 136,610 homes were added to England’s housing stock during the year, including 130,340 newbuild properties. Almost 4,500 new homes came from conversions, while 12,520 were created through change of use and there were 1,330 other gains. Some of these new homes were offset by the loss of 12,060 residences through demolition.

Several questions arise from this:

What has happened to the properties that have been repossessed? Have they been provided to other social tenants or have they been sold off?

And what do the ‘new build’ figures say about the Conservative-led government’s boast that it is building more homes than ever before?

It seems the Tory/Lib Dem bid to make us all homeless is going according to plan.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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