Crawley heads Sussex repossession stats
Research conducted by homeless group Shelter has found a big difference in repossession rates in different areas of Sussex.
People in Crawley are twice as likely to have their homes repossessed as people who live in Brighton & Hove, despite the two areas being just 20 miles apart.
Crawley is the part of Sussex that is most at risk from repossessions with 4.21 repossession claims for every 1,000 homes in the borough. There were 140 repossessions in Crawley last year.
Next on the Sussex repossession list comes Hasting with 120 repossessions at a rate of 3.34 per 1,000 homes. Eastbourne was third with 115 repossessions at 2.83 per 1,000 homes. Horsham and Chichester followed close behind.
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However, despite a number of areas with social problems in Brighton & Hove, its repossession statistics were even lower than the relatively affluent Lewes District. Lewes had a rate of 2.21 repossessions per 1,000 homes, whilst Brighton & Hove reported just two per 1,000.
This could be because Brighton & Hove has a higher proportion of rental accommodation and also more of a transient population who move around more and a larger number of students.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: "Most people think that repossession will never happen to them, however rising unemployment, high living costs and high house prices mean that many people in the South East are living close to the edge already, and risk falling into a spiral of debt and repossession."
Crawley councillor Peter Lamb said: "We currently have 3,000 on our waiting list for social housing, 1,500 of which are in urgent need. However, we have just a few hundred houses available every year.