Housing costs on a “cliff edge” with three in five anxious over household bills

28th August 2014

Charity group Citizens Advice has warned that the pressure of hefty bills such as childcare and energy costs will mean that half of households will have to slash spending this year.

The organisation has urged that expected rises in interest rates will need to be “slow and steady” to help families meet housing costs.

Housing charity Shelter has released figures showing as many as three million working parents in England are cutting back on food spending to pay for their rent or mortgage.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “Housing costs have left some families standing on a financial cliff edge. Working households that have already cut back on spending to get by could find themselves in the red if interest rates go up. Citizens Advice research shows three in five households are worried about the impact of rising bills this year, with over half forced to cut spending to balance the books.

“The competing pressures of sky-high childcare bills, rising energy costs and wages which are consistently below inflation, mean many people are struggling to pay for the roof over their head.”

Last year Citizens Advice dealt with nearly 87,000 social housing rent arrears problems, marking a 10% rise on 2012’s total.

“It is welcome news that more people are in work, putting more households in a position to get on top of their bills. However, with record numbers of people becoming self-employed and increased numbers of jobs with uncertain hours, families face increasing instability in their income. An interest rate rise would put some in a more precarious position, so any rise needs to be slow and steady in order for families to manage the extra cost,” added Guy.

 

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