The latest research from Shelter indicates that one in four (26 per cent) of employed people in Scotland (equivalent to 647,400 people) could be one pay check away from losing their home.
The figures also show that over one in four families with children in Scotland say that they would struggle to continue to pay their mortgage or rent for more than a month should they lose their job in 2013.
Shelter's research, released on 18 December 2012, shows just how close to the edge many thousands of Scotland’s households are - with little or no chance of things getting better any time soon.
Some 56 per cent of families with children say they could only cope to pay their rent for up to three months.
As the rising cost of living, austerity measures and severe welfare cuts hit home the lack of savings and the eroding housing safety net puts more and more people on a knife edge and at greater risk of repossession, eviction and possible homelessness.
The new figures came in the run-up to Shelter Scotland's Christmas campaign which highlighted the plight of families and the over 5,300 children who will be homeless at this time of year, often living in poor quality, damp and dangerous temporary accommodation.
Last year Shelter Scotland revealed how 280,000 households were prepared to risk their homes to pay for the cost of Christmas.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, commented: “We know that things are very tough out there – the cost of living is increasing, wages are stagnant, there is less job security and austerity measures are set to last for years to come.
“Meanwhile, funding for our vital services is being cut at a time when calls to our free helpline are up by 43 per cent in two years, with a 110 per cent increase in the number of people seeking advice about home repossession.
“These new figures show just how close to the edge many thousands of Scotland’s households are - with little or no chance of things getting better any time soon. Many of those have young families and we fear many of them will join the over 5,300 children who will spend this Christmas in temporary accommodation.
“Our worry is that with the economy continuing to struggle and families facing welfare cuts that number could be much higher next year. To restore its housing safety net Scotland needs to build more affordable homes to ensure that thousands of families and individuals, who fall on hard times, are not left out in the cold. It’s time to end Scotland’s housing crisis for good,” Mr Brown concluded.
* Shelter Scotland: http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/