East: Thousands Close To Losing Homes

11 April 2013, 01:00

630,000 people in the East are one pay check away from being unable to pay for their home according to the housing charity Shelter.

One in four workers in the East of England could not pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their jobs, according to new research out today.

The YouGov survey of working adults who pay housing costs found that 27% - equivalent to 630,000 people – could not pay their rent or mortgage from their savings for more than a month.  310,000 of these (13%) said that if they lost their jobs this April and couldn’t secure a new one right away, they couldn’t pay their rent or mortgage at all.

Nationally, more than 8 million workers (35%) are just one pay check away from losing their home, while families with children are in the most precarious situation of all. 43% could not pay for their home for more than a month, and nearly a quarter (23%) could not meet their payments at all. Overall, 3.9 million British families may be just one pay check away from losing the family home.

As government cuts kick in and the squeeze on family budgets means saving becomes ever harder, Shelter say they are bracing themselves  for a surge in demand from people at risk of becoming homeless.

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter said:  “These figures paint an alarming picture of a nation where the buffer between having a home and potentially becoming homeless is a single pay check. The depth of the financial pressure and insecurity felt by people across the East of England means that thousands are living on the edge of a crisis, only secure in their homes for a matter of weeks. At the same time, support for people who have lost their homes is being stripped away - it’s easy to see why every fifteen minutes, another family in England finds themselves homeless.

“More and more people are coming to Shelter desperate for advice on how they can stay in their homes, and our services are straining to meet the demand. Anyone who can’t meet the payments on their home should seek advice as a matter of urgency. Shelter can help advise anyone who is struggling to help prevent more people going through the devastation of losing their home.”