CAS: Demand for housing advice soars as cost of living crisis intensifies
Demand for housing advice across the Citizens Advice network is growing as the cost of living crisis intensifies, according to the latest data report from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).
In terms of online advice pages, concern around landlords increasing rent continues to grow and is now eight times higher than at the start of the pandemic. In March alone page views saw a 48% increase.
Preliminary 12-month data from across the CAB network suggests that demand for housing-related advice is now actually higher as a proportion of advice than it was before the pandemic.
In addition to this, page views for online advice around food banks and crisis support now almost double that of March 2021.
Preliminary 12-month data for the advice provided by Citizens Advice Bureaux also suggest demand for debt advice is close to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile demand for advice around utilities – namely energy – is actually now higher than before the pandemic, representing over 5 per cent of all advice now compared to 3.3 per cent before the pandemic.
Aofie Deery, Citizens Advice Scotland social justice spokesperson, said: “This data for March 2022 shows that even before the impact of the energy price cap increase in April demand was growing for advice around the cost of living.
“A growing concern has to be housing – we’ve seen huge increases in demand for page views landlords increasing rent in March alone. Across the CAB network itself, demand for housing-related advice is now higher than it was before the pandemic.
“It’s clear that people are struggling and we need to see action from policymakers to ease the squeeze the cost of living crisis is putting on people.”
She added: “The CAB network is also here for people. Our advice is free, impartial and confidential and is for everyone. CABs can deliver life changing results for people, Last year we unlocked £147 million with the average client financial gain being over £4,400. We don’t judge, we just help.”