A Paycheck Away From Homelessness

800,000 people in the West Midlands one pay check away from being unable to pay for their home

Two in five workers in the West Midlands could not pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their jobs, new figures from Shelter show today.

The YouGov survey of working adults who pay housing costs found that 43% - equivalent to 800,000 people – could not pay their rent or mortgage from their savings for more than a month. Alarmingly, 420,000 of these (23%) said that if they lost their jobs this April and couldn’t secure a new one right away, they couldn’t pay their rent or mortgage at all.

Nationally, more than 8 million workers (35%) are just one pay check away from losing their home, while families with children are in the most precarious situation of all. Overall, 3.9 million British families may be just one pay check away from losing the family home.

As government cuts kick in and the squeeze on family budgets means saving becomes ever harder, Shelter is bracing itself for a surge in demand from people at risk of becoming homeless.

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter said: “These figures paint an alarming picture of a nation where the buffer between having a home and potentially becoming homeless is a single pay check. The depth of the financial pressure and insecurity felt by people across the West Midlands means that thousands are living on the edge of a crisis, only secure in their homes for a matter of weeks. At the same time, support for people who have lost their homes is being stripped away - it’s easy to see why every fifteen minutes, another family in England finds themselves homeless.

“More and more people are coming to Shelter desperate for advice on how they can stay in their homes, and our services are straining to meet the demand. Anyone who can’t meet the payments on their home should seek advice as a matter of urgency. Shelter can help advise anyone who is struggling to help prevent more people going through the devastation of losing their home.”

To get advice, or to make a donation to Shelter’s advice services visit www.shelter.org.uk