Over 700,000 Scots fear missing rent or mortgage payments this year

National Housing Trust programme stock homesMore than a quarter of homeowners or tenants in Scotland are worried about covering the cost of their housing in 2016, new research has found.

A survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of Shelter Scotland revealed that 28 per cent of adults in Scotland who are responsible for paying rent or a mortgage (more than 700,000 people) said they were worried about not being able to meet these costs at some point during 2016.

The 25-34 age group had the highest number of respondents – 36 per cent stated they were worried about paying rent or mortgage in the year ahead.

Recently Shelter Scotland revealed the number of calls handled by its free national helpline rose again last year and that every 18 minutes a household in Scotland is assessed as homeless – 81 a day.

According to the charity, the number of calls made to its helpline rose to 21,284 in the last year (30 October 2014 – 1 November 2015), up from 19,906 the previous year – a 7 per cent rise.

Shelter Scotland is warning that ignoring money worries rather than seeking advice could lead to people’s homes being put at risk.

The charity says that advisors at its free national helpline are on-hand to help anyone who is worried about paying for their housing costs, is at risk of homelessness or struggling with bad housing.

Adam Lang, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said: “It’s a worrying sign of the times that so many people are starting the New Year worried about how they’ll pay for their rent or mortgage in 2016.

“Every day we hear from people who are living on a knife edge, feeling overwhelmed by mounting rent or mortgage bills, as the increasing pressure of sky-high housing costs continues to take its toll.

“We understand it is all too easy to bury your head in the sand hoping the problem will go away. But if you’re in this situation, it’s so important to remember you’re not alone and that help is at hand. Advice from Shelter Scotland is only a click or a phone call away – so get advice early to prevent things from spiralling out of control.”

Separate research for Shelter and Shelter Scotland, paints a bleak picture for many households across Scotland, revealing that:

  • 31 per cent (640,000) of people in Scotland who pay rent or a mortgage have already cut back on winter essentials (fuel and winter clothing) to afford their winter rent or mortgage payments.
  • 9 per cent (190,000) of people in Scotland who pay rent or a mortgage are worried about meeting their rent or mortgage payments in Jan.
  • 5 per cent (100,000) have used savings meant for Christmas presents to pay their rent/ mortgage.
  • 10 per cent (218,000) have cut back on buying food for Christmas to pay their rent/ mortgage.
  • Adam Lang added: “Every 18 minutes a household in Scotland is assessed as homeless. That’s 81 a day. Our helpline is a vital lifeline for these people, but to keep it going and make it better we need to invest in it.”


    Share icon
    Share this article: