Shelter sees surge in demand for help

23 April 2013

Mother on the phone, holding baby

Shelter has seen a surge in demand for our advice services as the high cost of housing, rising living costs and cuts to housing support leave rising numbers of people struggling to pay for their homes.

In the last year, Shelter 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.

Shelter’s research reveals that people who are currently struggling to pay their rent or mortgage have few options for increasing their income: only 21% said they or their partner are able to get extra hours at work, and just 26% said they could get a second job.

Last month we 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, Shelter is concerned that even more people will be left desperately trying to find the means to pay for their home.

Today is Shelter’s advice-sharing day, ‘Pass It On,’ to raise awareness of the importance of getting advice early to help prevent people from losing their home.

Join us on 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, Shelter’s Chief Executive 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.’

Are you struggling to pay your housing costs? Get advice from Shelter