One in Eleven Households Worried About Paying Rent This Month, Says Shelter

January 6, 2014

Luke-Notley small (Custom)New research by the housing charity Shelter has found that household finances are at breaking point, despite recent signs of an economic recovery.

The research, based on a survey of more than 4,000 adults, found that nearly 10% of those asked said they were not sure they would be able to afford to pay the mortgage or rent at the end of January.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said that a combination of high housing costs, increased cost of living and wage freezes were responsible for the current situation, saying, “It’s a worrying sign of the times that so many of us are starting the New Year worried about how they’ll pay their rent or mortgage in 2014.

“Unless they get help, some of the families struggling now could face the very real prospect of losing their home this year.”

According to the research, families were the worst affected, with 70% of rent or mortgage payers with children saying they were struggling or falling behind with payments, compared to 63% of the general population.

The charity said there were some worrying habits in the way people dealt with financial difficulties, with 18% admitting they had not opened their post if they thought it was a late reminder or a bill and a further 14% revealing they put the post straight in the bin for the same reason. Shelter warned against this, saying rent or mortgage payments should always be the top priority over other bills to prevent people from losing their homes.

Liz Clare, a helpline adviser at Shelter, said: “We’re now seeing a stream of cases of families who’ve been unable to cope with mounting rent or mortgage bills and feel at breaking point.

“We all know how difficult it can be to face up to financial problems and we often hear from people who’ve been avoiding urgent post, but the reality is that not confronting it means things can spiral out of control.”

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “Our efforts to tackle the record deficit we inherited have kept interest rates down, rent rises below inflation, and mortgages more affordable, while mortgage arrears are at a record low and repossessions at their lowest level since records began in 2008.”