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4 January 2016, 08:19
More than a quarter of homeowners or rental tenants are worried about not being able to cover the cost of their housing during 2016, according to a charity.
Shelter Scotland said it is contacted by dozens of people every day who feel "overwhelmed by mounting rent or mortgage bills''.
An online survey of more than 1,000 people carried out by YouGov for the homelessness charity found that 28% of adults in Scotland who pay rent or a mortgage said they were worried about not being able to pay their rent or mortgage at some point during 2016.
Almost 10% of those concerned are worried about meeting payments in January.
The 25-34 age group had the highest number of respondents with 36% stating they were worried about paying rent or their mortgage.
It was also found that almost a third of people have already cut back on winter essentials such as fuel and clothing in order to cover rent and mortgage payments, while 5% of those questioned have used savings meant for Christmas to pay living costs.
Shelter Scotland recently revealed the number of calls handled by its national helpline rose again last year, while an average of 81 households are assessed as homeless every day.
The charity is warning that ignoring money worries rather than seeking advice could lead to homes being put at risk.
Adam Lang, head of 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 spiraling out of control.''