One four Scots struggling with housing costs

By agency reporter
January 6, 2016

New research has found that more than one in four adults in Scotland who are responsible for paying rent or a mortgage are worried about covering the cost of their housing in 2016.

The research, carried out online by YouGov for Shelter Scotland, found that 28 per cent of adults in Scotland who pay rent or a mortgage (more than 700,000 people) said they were worried about not being able to pay for their rent or mortgage at some point during 2016.

The 25-34 age group had the highest number of respondents – 36 per cen stated they were worried about paying rent or mortgage in the year ahead.

The number of calls made to Shelter Scotland's free national helpline rose to 21,284 in the last year (30 October 2014 – 1 November 2015), up from 19,906 the previous year – a seven per cent rise.

Ignoring money worries rather than seeking advice could lead to people's homes being put at risk. Shelter Scotland says advisors at the free national helpline are on-hand to help anyone who is worried about paying for their housing costs, is at risk of homelessness or struggling with bad housing.

Adam Lang, Head of Communications and Policy at Shelter Scotland, said: "It's a worrying sign of the times that so many people are starting the New Year worried about how they'll pay for their rent or mortgage in 2016.

"Every day we hear from people who are living on a knife edge, feeling overwhelmed by mounting rent or mortgage bills, as the increasing pressure of sky-high housing costs continues to take its toll.

"We understand it is all too easy to bury your head in the sand hoping the problem will go away. But if you're in this situation, it's so important to remember you're not alone and that help is at hand. Advice from Shelter Scotland is only a click or a phone call away – so get advice early to prevent things from spiralling out of control."

Separate research paints a bleak picture for many households across Scotland, revealing that:

- 31 per cent of people in Scotland who pay rent or a mortgage have already cut back on winter essentials (fuel and winter clothing) to afford their winter rent or mortgage payments. This equates to 640,000 people.

- Nine per cent of people in Scotland who pay rent or a mortgage are worried about meeting their rent or mortgage payments in January. This equates to 190,000 people.

- Five per cent have used savings meant for Christmas presents to pay their rent/ mortgage. This equates to 100,000 people.

- 10 per cent have cut back on buying food for Christmas to pay their rent/ mortgage. This equates to 218,000 people.

* Anyone facing housing problems in Scotland can visit online advice here  or call the free national helpline on 0808 800 4444.

* Shelter Scotland http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/

[Ekk/4]

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