Families Are Skimping on Heating to Afford Housing Costs

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From the increase in heating bills to the extra expense that Christmas celebrations can bring, it’s no secret that winter can be an expensive time. However high rents and mortgages in England mean that many families have had to reduce winter spending just to make ends meet.

According to housing charity Shelter who conducted the research, more than a quarter (27%) of parents of under-18s said they had cut down on winter spending to meet housing costs; skimping on heating and warm clothes just to be able to pay their rent or mortgage costs. Ten percent of the parents surveyed by Shelter also said that they were worried about how they are going to be able to afford rent or mortgage costs in the upcoming year.

Shelter helpline adviser Danielle Goodwin has issued the following tips for anyone dealing with rent or mortgage debt:

  • Ask for help as early as possible.
  • Focus on paying your rent or mortgage first, even if you are getting demands from credit cards or payday loan companies. The most important thing is for you to keep your home.
  • If you are behind on your mortgage, contact your lender as soon as possible.
  • If you find yourself struggling with rent arrears, see if you can claim housing benefit to help.
  • Respond to letters and phone calls and read everything sent to you. Make records of every letter and phone call made.

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