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Social housing tenant survey results 'deeply worrying'

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Social housing tenant survey results 'deeply worrying'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Finance

Social housing tenant survey results 'deeply worrying' Social housing tenant survey results 'deeply worrying'

The results of a social housing tenant survey have been described as "deeply disturbing", with residents caught in a spiral of poverty which is affecting their health and wellbeing.

Quids in! magazine's poll found that social housing tenants' access to mainstream financial products has fallen "alarmingly" in the last two years.

And large numbers of tenants are still digitally excluded with no access to the internet at home or at work, while almost half of working age readers report having had their benefits cut in the last two years.

The survey's key findings include:

• 52% said they were struggling to pay bills.
• 52% said money worries had caused them to feel frightened, anxious or depressed (up from 45% in 2012).
• 51% of readers had turned off their heating despite being cold (up from 44% in 2012).
• 37% reported skipping meals due to financial constraints (up from 33% in 2012).
• 30% of readers reported that they had become physically ill through money worries (up from 21% in 2012).

Worryingly, the survey found that with social housing tenants being refused mainstream financial products, many more are turning to payday loans and doorstep lenders for support.

The survey found:

• 48% of readers use bank accounts, a huge drop when compared to the 85% reported in 2012 - and access to home contents insurance, credit cards and post office accounts all also showed significant falls over time.
• 6% of readers had taken out a loan from someone calling at their home.
• 6% took out a payday loan – tripling the use compared with Quids in!’s previous research in 2012.
• 6% used a credit union (up from 4% in 2012).

Quids in! magazine is distributed to 160,000 households every quarter - the vast majority to tenants of social housing. It is free to the reader and contains straightforward, practical money advice to help people make their money go further.

The magazine also discovered that:

• 11% of its readers are in work but claiming benefits.
• 43% of working age readers said they had had their benefits cut in the last two years.
• A quarter of our readers not in work reported having faced or experienced sanctions from Job Centre Plus.

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