280,000 may Risk Homes to Pay for Christmas

According to Scotland’s leading housing and homelessness charity around 280,000 people may risk their homes to pay for Christmas.

According to a YouGov survey for Shelter Scotland, one in 12 tenants (8%) – equivalent to around 83,690 people – say they expect to miss their rent to pay for the cost of Christmas.

One in 14 homeowners in Scotland (7%) – equivalent to over 196,000 people – has taken or is considering taking a break from their mortgage payments to pay for the cost of Christmas.

Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland, said:

“Too many people are risking their homes by missing or delaying rent and mortgage payments. With Christmas just around the corner, many can feel pressured to spend money they simply don’t have. Combined with the existing daily struggle and misery felt by thousands of families, the cost of the festive period could lead some to breaking point.

“The cost of housing is putting increasing pressure on day to day finances and forcing some families to ultimately risk their homes in order to pay for Christmas. As Scotland begins to feel the full impact of savage cuts to jobs and housing benefits, and as more people face even greater debt, the perfect storm is brewing for a rise in homelessness.

“We urge people to think very carefully before delaying rent or mortgage payments. It can seem like a quick fix, but can have long lasting implications. Anyone experiencing difficulty in paying their housing costs should contact Shelter Scotland sooner rather than later by calling our free national advice line on 0808 800 4444 or by visiting www.shelterscotland.org.uk .”

Ends/

Notes to Editors:

1. Shelter Scotland provides expert support services, online advice and a free national helpline for everyone facing housing and homelessness difficulties. For advice and support visit www.shelterscotland.org.uk or call 0808 800 4444.

2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1029 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th – 28th November 2011 .  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).

3. Equivalent figures for number of people who have or have considered taking a payment break from their mortgage or rent based on Shelter Scotland calculations of YouGov findings. The total adult population in Scotland is estimated as 4,184,261 adults.

4. Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line is available for broadcast interviews.

5. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterinscotland Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland

Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.

Contact: Sabina Kadic-Mackenzie
Phone: 0844 515 2442

Website: http://www.shelter.org.uk