New scheme to help people stop losing homes

Brighton Housing Trust advice Eastbourne SUS-141020-112349001
Brighton Housing Trust advice Eastbourne SUS-141020-112349001

A new campaign to help people facing eviction through the courts to save their homes has been launched by an Eastbourne charity.

Brighton Housing Trust Sussex is behind the scheme and says there is a low attendance rate at its Eastbourne Court Duty service which offers free legal advice for people who face losing their homes.

It aims to encourage people facing eviction through the courts to attend their possession hearings and to get the free, emergency advice available at the county courts so that they stand a better chance of saving their homes.

The week long campaign will attempt to demystify the repossession process, making it less frightening, helping people to understand the importance of attending the hearing and to ensure that they know that there is free legal advice on offer. Advice is available to tenants and home owners.

Sue Hennell, East Sussex Advice Services manager said, “Receiving a letter from the court and learning you could lose your home is a terrifying experience. It is understandable that people feel that there is nothing that they can do.

“But what most people don’t realise is that it is never too late and in many cases we can help to save your home. BHT has advisers at Eastbourne County Court for every initial possession hearing and we are available to offer free, confidential advice to tenants and homeowners who are facing possession proceedings.

“We cannot promise to save your home but in 91 per cent of people we have worked with we have secured positive outcomes. We would always advocate getting advice as early as possible.

“But if you haven’t done so before the hearing it is always better to attend the hearing and see what we can do to help.”

The campaign will be running from October 27-31 and will be called Five Minutes to illustrate the time it takes for a BHT adviser to save someone’s home through the court duty scheme.

Campaign co-ordinator Lucy Enever said, “We will be asking people to post on Twitter and Facebook what it takes them five minutes to do as it can take as little as five minutes for one of our advisers to make sure that someone does not lose their home. Simply use the hashtag #takes5mins.”

To follow the campaign and to find advice, support and information on house repossessions and the court process, go to www.bht.org.uk