In the last year, the charity has seen a 40% increase in the numbers of callers in England helped with housing costs, arrears and other debt issues, while in the last six months alone, visitors to Shelter’s online housing costs advice have doubled.
The news comes as research from Shelter reveals that those who are currently struggling to pay their rent or mortgage have few options for increasing their income, with just 21% saying they or their partner are able to get extra hours at work and only 26% said they could get a second job. Last month, the charity reported that almost a third of people have already cut back on food in order to pay housing costs.
With further benefit cuts beginning to hit, the charity is concerned that even more people will be left desperately trying to find the means to pay for their home.
Today Shelter has launched an advice sharing day, ‘Pass It On’ to raise awareness of the importance of getting advice early to help prevent people from losing their home. The charity is asking people to use Facebook and Twitter to pass on and share messages about Shelter’s free housing advice, which helps people prioritise and manage housing debts, negotiate with lenders or landlords and improve their budgeting skills.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “This research highlights the frightening lack of options available to people who are fighting to keep a roof over their head. Sadly, with little remaining of the housing safety net meant to support them in tough times, many can quickly find themselves at risk of losing their home.
“Every day we speak to people who are on the brink and have nowhere left to turn. But getting early support from a charity like Shelter can help families get back in control of their finances and prevent the downward spiral that can ultimately lead to homelessness.
“Today we’re urging people to pass on the message to their friends and family that help is out there. Free, expert housing advice from Shelter can help people stay in their homes.”
Visit www.shelter.org.uk/advice. #ShelterHelp #PassItOn
Notes to Editor
1. In 2011/12 Shelter helpline helped 8,838 callers in England with housing costs problems and in 2012/13 that increased to 12,408, an increase of 40%.
2. In the last six months unique visits to Shelter’s online housing costs advice page has doubled.
3. A YouGov survey of 4003 GB adults was undertaken between 25th - 28th March 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
4. The YouGov survey found that of those struggling to pay their rent or mortgage 21% said they could get extra hours at work to help meet their housing costs.
5. The YouGov survey found that of those struggling to pay their rent or mortgage 26% said they could get a second job to help meet their housing costs.
6. A YouGov survey with a total sample size of 4060 GB adults was undertaken between 30th November - 3rd December 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). It found that 31% of adults said they had cut back on the amount they spend on food to help pay for their housing costs.
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