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'Struggling families may face losing their homes' Rent and mortgage worries.

Byline: HENRYK ZIENTEK News Reporter henryk.zientek@examiner.co.uk

A CHARITY claims household budgets are "at breaking point" due to rising costs and wage restraint.

The warning came as a study by homelessness charity Shelter claimed that one in 14 people in YorKshire fear they won't be able to afford to pay the rent or mortgage at the end of this month, according to new research from Shelter.

The research, based on a YouGov survey of more than 4,000 British adults, suggests millions of people across the country are starting 2014 worried about whether we'll be able to Keep their home.

And the homelessness charity warned that the "ostrich effect" created as a result of feeling overwhelmed by money worries could put homes in YorKshire and the Humber at risK this year if overdue rent or mortgage bills are put off until it's too late.

The study said that one in seven people in the region admit to not opening post if they THINK its a bill or late payment reminder.

And one in 11 even admitted to putting it in the bin without opening it.

The charity said more than a third of people in YorKshire expect to struggle or fall behind with their rent or mortgage in 2014 - and urged anyone worried about their housing costs to get help by visiting shelter.org.uK/advice. Across the country, the research found that families are worst-hit. More than two-thirds (70%) of rent or mortgage payers with children are struggling or falling behind with their payments compared with 63% of the general population of rent or mortgage payers. Liz Clare, a helpline adviser at Shelter, said: "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 all Know how difficult it can be to face up to financial problems and we often hear from people who've been avoiding urgent post, but the reality is that not confronting it means things can spiral out of control."

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: "It's a worrying sign of the times that so many of us are starting the new year worried about how they'll pay their rent or mortgage in 2014. "Unless they get help, some of the families struggling now could face the very real prospect of losing their home this year.

"Despite recent discussion of an economic recovery, we Know that a combination of high housing costs, wage freezes and rising food and energy bills has created a nightmare scenario for many families that's pushing them to BREAKING point."

CAPTION(S):

| NIGHTMARE: Campbell Robb

| ON THE STREETS: Worrying sign of the times as costs rise
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 6, 2014
Words:453
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