Government targets repossession hotspots

More help was offered to struggling homeowners as the government officially named 34 repossession ‘hotspots’ across the country – including Sedgefield, Tony Blair’s old constituency, and four areas of London.

John Healey, the housing minister, warned that the risk of repossession would ‘stay high throughout next year’, prompting his department to announce it was stepping up support for homeowners in financial difficulty by extending a campaign offering impartial free advice, and tightening rules to make sure repossession is always the ‘last resort’.

More than 300,000 families have already benefited from the advice and support the government has put in place during the recession, the communities and local government department said.

Healey said he was extending the local drive to encourage people to seek mortgage help and advice into 34 areas considered at greater risk due to high levels of unemployment and numbers of court orders for repossessions.