Third of working families a paycheque away from losing home

By agency reporter
August 10, 2016

One in three working families in England could not afford to pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job, new figures from the housing and homelessness charity Shelter revealed yesterday (9 August 2016)

 The Shelter and YouGov study found that this means a staggering three million working families with little or no personal savings to fall back on could be just one paycheque away from losing their home.

Even more shockingly, the research also revealed that a fifth of working parents face the nightmare prospect of being immediately unable to make their next rent or mortgage payment if they lost their job, and couldn’t get another one straightaway.

These worrying findings mirror recent government figures, which show there are 16.5 million working age adults in the UK with no savings at all.

High housing costs remain a major area of concern for most working families, with almost half saying housing puts the biggest strain on their household budget.

As the country faces a period of economic uncertainty, Shelter is urging the new government to do all it can to protect and improve the welfare safety net that helps families to stay in their home when they fall on hard times.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “These figures are stark a reminder that sky-high housing costs are leaving millions of working families stretched to breaking point, and barely scraping by from one paycheque to the next.

“Any one of us could hit a bump along life’s road, and at Shelter we speak to parents every day who, after losing their job or seeing their hours cut, are terrified of losing the roof over their children’s heads too.

“In these uncertain times, the new government has a real chance to show working families they’re on their side, by protecting and improving our welfare safety net. It’s vital that if life does takes a turn for the worse, there’s enough support available for families so that they don’t go hurtling towards homelessness.”

* Read the family resources survey 2014/15, published in Households below average income Table 5.9db, DWP, June 2016 here



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