Fears over rent and mortgage bills

Preston MP Mark Hendrick
Preston MP Mark Hendrick
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Preston MP Mark Hendrick has warned one in 10 people in the North West fear they won’t be able to afford to pay the rent or mortgage at the end of this month.

The message follows research by the homeless charity Shelter and a YouGov study of more than 4,000 adults.

Mr Hendrick said: “The research carried out by Shelter reveals the extent to which household budgets are at breaking point in Preston and the North West. More than one in three people in the North West expect to struggle or fall behind with their rent or mortgage this year.

“In recent years, struggling families would have had to make the difficult decision between eating or heating their homes and now added to that, there is the very real threat of people losing the roof over their heads. I’m seeing more and more constituents who approach me when they are in dire financial circumstances because they have buried their head in the sand for too long and put off asking for help until they reach crisis point.

“It’s understandable that as it gets tougher to pay all the bills, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.”

He urged people who are worried about their housing costs to get help by visiting shelter.org.uk/advice or calling 0808 800 4444.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s a worrying sign of the times that so many of us are starting the New Year worried about how they’ll pay their rent or mortgage in 2014.

“Unless they get help, some of the families struggling now could face the very real prospect of losing their home this year.

“Despite recent discussion of an economic recovery, we know that a combination of high housing costs, wage freezes, and rising food and energy bills has created a nightmare scenario for many families that’s pushing them to breaking point.”

Shelter helps three million people a year with housing problems, through online, phone and face to face advice.

Rent or mortgage payments should always be the top priority over other bills to prevent people from losing their homes.

For advice and top tips to avoid rent or mortgage arrears visit shelter.org.uk/advice.