Third of Brits will struggle with rent or mortgage payments in 2014
A YouGov survey has revealed that many of us face losing our homes this year as household budgets are stretched to breaking point.
A survey of over 4,000 British adults indicates that 63 per cent of the population are currently struggling to make their rent or mortgage payments, a figure that rises to 70 per cent among those with children.
Over one in three of us are expected to struggle with our rent and mortgage this year, which has led housing and homelessness charity Shelter to urge people to face up to their financial difficulties.
The charity stressed the importance of seeking help, but added it was concerned many will be too embarrassed to admit their troubles, which will only compound their situation.
"It's a worrying sign of the times that so many are starting the New Year worried about how they'll pay their rent or mortgage in 2014," notes chief executive Campbell Robb.
"Unless they get help, some of the families struggling now could face the very real prospect of losing their home this year."
The survey found that almost 20 per cent of people have purposelessly left post unopened out of fear that it may be a bill they cannot afford to pay.
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However, Shelter is urging people not to do this and instead seek the support they need from organisations and charities that exist to give advice and guidance.
Liz Clare, a helpline advisor at Shelter, says, "We're now seeing a stream of cases of families who've been unable to cope with mounting rent or mortgage bills and feel at breaking point.
"We hear from people every day who are struggling, so you are not alone. Our message to anyone struggling to pay their rent or mortgage is that we're on your side. Come to us for help early on for the best chance of keeping your home."
Shelter recently released statistics that show that one in every 105 households in England is at risk of repossession or eviction, a figure that rises even higher in certain areas such as in the London borough of Newham where one in every 35 is at risk as a result of a huge lack of affordable housing in the capital.
The charity attributes these figures to soaring housing costs - average house prices rose by 8.4% in the UK in 2013 according to Nationwide - as well as higher bills and welfare cuts.