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Housing cost “cliff edge” with 3 in 5 worried about household bills

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice today warns that competing bills mean that half of households will have to cut spending this year. The charity has said 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 today showing as many as 3 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 3 in 5 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. Citizens Advice dealt with nearly 87,000 social housing rent arrears problems last year, up 10 per cent from 2012.

“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.”

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