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Shelter reports 80% increase in people seeking housing help

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Shelter reports 80% increase in people seeking housing help

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Bill Payments

Shelter reports 80% increase in people seeking housing help Shelter reports 80% increase in people seeking housing help

The housing charity Shelter has recorded a dramatic increase in demand for help from people at risk of homelessness.

New figures released today by the charity show that the number of people its helpline has assisted who are either homeless, or face losing their home, has risen by 80% in the last three years.

The Shelter Helpline is an all-year-round line staffed by over 50 staff and part-funded by retailer Marks & Spencer.

Most worryingly, reports Shelter, is that the number of families with children at risk of homelessness assisted by the helpline has increased by 92% over the same period.

Over the past year, the charity’s website has also seen a 17% surge in visits to pages providing homelessness advice, compared to just a 3% increase the year before.

The findings come after Shelter’s Christmas appeal warned that 75,000 children in Britain will wake up homeless this Christmas, living in temporary accommodation such as bed and breakfasts or hostels.

The charity is concerned that rising rents, increasing living costs and flatlining wages mean more and more families will struggle to keep up with their housing payments and could be at risk of losing their home in the months ahead.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “These figures are a shocking reminder of the daily battle so many families are facing just to keep a roof over their head.

“Through our helpline Shelter offers vital help to people who have hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to turn. Our advisers give them the advice and support they need to get back on their feet.

“With demand for our services rising by the day, the support of partners like Marks & Spencer is vital in making sure we can reach more families who need our help.”

Shelter’s Helpline has already provided help to 57,000 people so far this year. Each Christmas, 5p from every item sold in the M&S Christmas Food On The Move range goes to support Shelter’s Helpline.

Richard Gillies, Director of Plan A, CSR and Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer, said: “We’re proud that our long-standing partnership with Shelter continues to support this valuable service which clearly helps so many.

“For our customers and us, it’s really great to know that something as simple as choosing your lunch can make a real difference to people who risk losing their home.”

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