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Struggling Mersey households putting rent and mortgage on plastic

And they're doing it on the quiet, says Shelter

Published on January 15th 2014.

Struggling Mersey households putting rent and mortgage on plastic

CASH-STRAPPED people in Merseyside are struggling keep a roof over their heads by secretly taking out risky loans, according to new findings today from Shelter. 

The housing charity research found that more than one in five rent or mortgage payers across the North West has borrowed money to cover their rent or mortgage. Across the country two per cent of rent or mortgage payers – the equivalent of nearly a million people in Britain – said they had taken out a ‘payday’ loan to cover housing costs. 

The announcement comes hot on the heels of findings by Shelter that One in 11 people in Britain fear they won’t be able to afford their rent or mortgage at the end of January. 

The research, based on a YouGov survey of over 4,000 British adults, shows household budgets across the country at breaking point, and suggests that millions of us will start the New Year worried about keeping our homes. 

Families are the worst affected, with over 70pc of rent or mortgage payers with children currently struggling. 

The YouGov survey of 4,000 adults found that almost one in three (30pc) people in the North West would feel too ashamed to ask for help if they couldn’t pay their rent or mortgage, while 43pc said wouldn’t admit if they were struggling with their housing costs to family or friends. 

Last year, Shelter says, the number of people it assisted, because they couldn't pay their rent or mortgage, rose by almost a third. 

But the charity is warning that for every person turning to Shelter for help, many will be keeping their rent or mortgage problems hidden. 

There is no shame in struggling to pay rent or mortgage, it says,and is urging people to turn to experts on its website, helpline or face to face services to give them the best chance of getting back on stable footing and keeping their home. Advice can range from negotiating mortgage holidays with their lender or helping with realistic re-payment plans for arrears. 

You don't have to have lost your job to fall victim. Shelter flags up a case study, Katharine Whittaker, who lives with her two children. Despite being in work, it says, she often struggles to pay the rent, which puts the biggest strain on her monthly budget. 

Rent-ArrearsRent-ArrearsShe says: “The rent takes at least half my wages. It’s absolutely horrible trying to juggle the rent and other bills like this. I’ve borrowed money from family and I’ve had to ask the bank for an overdraft just to keep our heads above water. It’s a constant worry thinking about finding extra money.”  

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Sky-high housing costs, stagnating wages and the high cost of living have taken their toll. The economy as a whole might be on the up, but losing our home could now be a frighteningly real prospect for any one of us. 

“We’re now hearing from record numbers of families up and down the country who are desperately struggling to keep the roof over their heads. But the truth is, we’re more worried about the people we don’t see.”

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rent boyJanuary 15th 2014.

What we really need is a return to the rent control and Fair Rents we had until the Tories abolished them in 1989. If they did that it would be a relief to millions of "hard-working femliz" and it would chop billions off the Government's Housing Benefit bill. Of course this government won't do it, they want a return to Rachmanism.

John ShawJanuary 16th 2014.

I wish you wouldn't do that Liv/conf. A serious subject, then defeat the object by showing some bloke wearing a "rolex" and an expensive "Tattoo". It harps back to yesteryear when following each and every budget, the first thing the "media" did was to interview some person with a fag and a pint in their hand, that was back in the days before the demise of public houses ( Another former British Institution).

2 Responses: Reply To This...
EditorialJanuary 16th 2014.

He's a bailiff actually, knocking for the rent. In the old joke we used to hide behind the couch.

John ShawJanuary 16th 2014.

In my old neighbourhood, they would of needed Mad Mitch and the Argyll and Sutherland highlanders never mind bailiffs.......What's a couch

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