MORE than 100 homes in Gwent were repossessed by landlords and mortgage lenders last year, figures show.

Debt charity StepChange said more people across England and Wales have lost their homes since emergency Covid-19 financial measures ended, and that further government support may be needed.

Ministry of Justice figures show 107 homes in Newport, Torfaen, Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent, and Caerphilly were repossessed in 2021. Of these, 85 involved tenants being evicted, and 22 were repossessed by a mortgage lender.

How these figures break down:

  • Blaenau Gwent: five homes repossessed - four evictions of renters, one repossession by a mortgage lender. Down from 73 in 2020, and 58 in 2019.
  • Caerphilly: 22 homes repossessed – 18 evictions of renters, four repossessions by mortgage lenders. Down from 116 in 2020, and 89 in 2019.
  • Monmouthshire: Seven homes repossessed – five evictions of renters, two repossessions by mortgage lenders. Down from 25 in 2020, and 21 in 2019.
  • Newport: 51 homes repossessed - 43 evictions of renters, eight repossessions by mortgage lenders. Up from 23 in 2020, but down from 105 in 2019.
  • Torfaen: 22 homes repossessed - 15 evictions of renters, seven repossessions by mortgage lenders. Down from 40 in 2020, and 66 in 2019.

Across England and Wales, there were 10,195 repossessions in 2021 – up from 8,608 the year before.

Bailiff-enforced evictions were banned for a large part of 2020-21 – a measure introduced by the UK Government to prevent renters from becoming homeless during the pandemic – though the ban was lifted in Wales on June 30 last year.

Sue Anderson, head of media at StepChange, said emergency measures to suppress landlord evictions and mortgage repossessions were "instrumental".

But she added: "With many people yet to recover from the financial effects of the pandemic – and now having to cope with a cost of living crisis – it’s no surprise that we are seeing a rise in the number of people losing their homes.

"While the £65 million support fund created to help deal with Covid rent arrears will help, more support may still be needed for the hardest hit households.”

The MoJ figures show the number of claims lodged to repossess homes in Gwent also fell last year.

In total 297 claims were made across the region in 2021, down from 301 in 2020, and 1,207 the year before.

How these figures break down:

  • Blaenau Gwent: 31 claims lodged – 22 by landlords, nine by mortgage lenders. Down from 51 in 2020, and 179 in 2019.
  • Caerphilly: 104 claims lodged – 77 by landlords, 27 by mortgage lenders. Down from 105 in 2020, and 407 in 2019.
  • Monmouthshire: 25 claims lodged – 19 by landlords, six by mortgage lenders. Down from 27 in 2020, and 110 in 2019.
  • Newport: 114 claims lodged – 75 by landlords, 39 by mortgage lenders. Up from 75 in 2020, but below 355 in 2019.
  • Torfaen: 23 claims lodged – 14 by landlords, nine by mortgage lenders. Down from 43 in 2020, and 219 in 2019.

Shelter said huge numbers of eviction notices are currently dropping on doormats across the country, and rising living costs may be the final straw for many renters.

Osama Bhutta, director of campaigns at the housing charity, said: "Some are being forced to choose between feeding their families, heating their homes, or paying their rent.

“While government measures, like the £65 million rent arrears fund, will help some, it won’t be enough to protect every family who is barely hanging onto their home.

"It’s time the Government gave renters the financial lifeline they need by boosting support and reversing the damaging welfare cuts that have left people on the brink of destitution."

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said its actions have helped keep thousands of people in their homes.

Along with the £65 million to support low income households, a DLUHC spokeswoman said £316 million will be available next year to prevent homelessness.

She added: “We also recognise people are facing pressures with the cost of living, which is why we are providing support worth around £12 billion this financial year and next.”