Shelter launches Vertical Rush fundraiser as 14,000 London homes face repossession

For more information or stair-running tips from celebrity fitness expert Matt Roberts, or to book an interview with a Shelter spokesperson, contact: Shelter press office on 020 7505 2162 or out of hours on 07850 901 142, or press_office@shelter.org.uk    

Shelter launches Vertical Rush fundraiser as 14,000 London homes face repossession

Government statistics released today reveal that almost 14,000 homes in London are currently at risk of repossession, as Shelter launches its Vertical Rush event to raise money to help families struggling to keep a roof over their head.

Vertical Rush will challenge 1,500 people to race up the 920 stairs of Tower 42, the City of London’s original skyscraper. Raising more than £300,000 for Shelter, Vertical Rush will help keep Shelter’s advice services running, helping people at risk of homelessness or in bad housing.

Today’s figures show that 13,911 London households received a possession claim from their mortgage lender or landlord in the last three months of 2012, putting them at risk of losing their home. The number of rented homes facing eviction in London has risen sharply in recent years, rising by 25% since 2009.

The charity is warning that increased living costs and flatlining wages mean that more and more families could struggle to keep up with their housing costs, with many at risk of losing their home in the months ahead.

Shelter is urging people to help raise much-needed funds by signing up to run Vertical Rush this March. Just £100 raised by a runner could pay for a Shelter housing adviser to help prevent five families from being evicted from their homes.

Denise lives in Lewisham with her son, and fell in to mortgage arrears in 2010 after she was made redundant. Despite cutting back on other household expenses, Denise was unable to manage the bills and mortgage payments. Facing repossession in less than two months, she went to Shelter for help. 

Denise said: “I would have definitely lost my home without Shelter’s advice. Things felt out of control and I didn’t know which way to turn. Shelter helped me to get things back on track.”
Shelter’s advisers negotiated more time for Denise to pay back her arrears, and worked out a financial management plan to help her meet the repayments. After following the advice, Denise is back on her feet. The possession order has been lifted and she has cleared the arrears. 

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said “Flatlining wages and rising housing costs mean that more and more families are struggling to keep a roof over their head, and turning to Shelter for support when the worst happens.

“In these tough times, demand for our help is higher than ever. Running up the 920 steps of Tower 42 is a fun and easy way for anyone who cares about homelessness to help give families a lifeline as they face a battle to stay afloat.

“Vertical Rush is a vital opportunity for us to boost our funds to make sure that we can reach more people who need our help.”

Barry Rushmer, General Manager of Tower 42 added: “We’re delighted to welcome Shelter to Tower 42 again for the fifth annual Vertical Rush. It’s a pleasure to be able to host this landmark London event which raises valuable funds for such a worthwhile cause, particularly at this time of need for many.”

Notes to editors

1. Source: Ministry of Justice Mortgage and landlord possession statistics – October to December 2012 http://www.justice.gov.uk/statistics/civil-justice/mortgage-possession 

2. 1,748 London households received a possession claim from their mortgage lender, and 12,163 London households received a possession claim from their landlord in the last three months of 2012.

3. ‘The number of rented homes facing eviction in London has risen sharply in recent years, rising by 25% since 2009’: in 2009, 37,934 households received a possession claim from their landlord, rising to 47,413 in 2012.

4. A possession claim is the first step in the legal process of repossession by a lender or eviction by a landlord, though not all claims will lead to repossession.

About Shelter 
Shelter helps over a million people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and we campaign to prevent it in the first place.

We’re here so no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own.  To find out more visit www.shelter.org.uk 


Want more information? Contact us:

t: 020 7505 2162 (Office hours)
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e: press_office@shelter.org.uk