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Sky-high housing costs leave nearly four million families on 'financial knife-edge' - Shelter

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Sky-high housing costs leave nearly four million families on 'financial knife-edge' - Shelter

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

Sky-high housing costs leave nearly four million families on 'financial knife-edge' - Shelter Sky-high housing costs leave nearly four million families on 'financial knife-edge' - Shelter

Nearly four million working families in the UK would not be able to pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job, according to new figures from Shelter.

A survey by the housing charity revealed that 3.8 million families could be just one pay cheque away from losing their home.

Sky-high housing costs and stagnating wages are the primary reasons why households are living on a financial knife-edge.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: "No matter how hard ordinary families work, in today’s ‘knife-edge nation’ a drop in income can all too quickly put their home at serious risk. If you lose your job finding another one is hard enough, but without a stable place to live it’s almost impossible.

"The government must make sure the safety net is strong enough to stop families falling through the gaps, and going through the nightmare of losing their homes."

Kate Murray lives with her five-year-old daughter and disabled mother. In October 2013 she lost her job as a business manager with only three days’ notice when the company she worked for went bankrupt.

Kate said: "They hadn’t been paying me properly, so I’d begun to fall behind on my mortgage. Then I got the letter through the door saying they wanted to take my house back. I was petrified. I thought what am I going to do? How am I going to tell my daughter and my mum that we have to move out?"

Mirroring Shelter’s research are the latest government figures on savings, which reveal that 15 million working age adults in the UK have no savings at all.

Liz Clare, a Shelter helpline advisor, said: "This research highlights how millions of us now find ourselves living on a financial knife-edge – month to month, paycheque to paycheque.

"Every day we see how just one piece of bad luck, like a sudden job loss or illness, could put the family home at risk."

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