Nearly half a million working families – 44% in the North West – are so hard pressed to keep up with mortgage and rent payments they drastically cut back on food.
Shelter and YouGov research from July shows one in 11 even skip meals, while one in five parents put off buying their kids new clothes or shoes to afford a roof over their heads.
Plus almost 60% are already struggling to meet rent and mortgage payments – the most recent government statistics (from 2013/14) show the average English household spends 29% of their monthly income on housing while private renters spend 43%.
“These figures are an acute reminder of the tough choices that working families in the North West are having to make to keep a roof over their children’s heads,” said Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb.
“Any one of us could hit a bump along life’s road, but with housing now taking up the lion’s share of people’s pay-packets, any drop in income can all too quickly leave families at risk of losing their home.
“At Shelter we speak to parents every day who live in constant fear that a cut in hours could tip them into homelessness.
“With hundreds of thousands of working families in the region struggling and a period of economic uncertainty ahead, now is the time for the new government to both protect and improve our welfare safety net so that it can be there to support families who fall on hard times.”
Anyone worried about losing their home can contact Shelter for free on 0808 800 4444 or by visiting www.shelter.org.uk/advice
Image courtesy of Barn Images via Flickr, with thanks.