Repossession fear ‘causing people to go cold and hungry’

Some consumers are cutting back on food and domestic heating in order to free up enough cash to avoid being kicked out of their homes, a new survey ha…

Some consumers are cutting back on food and domestic heating in order to free up enough cash to avoid being kicked out of their homes, a new survey has found.

Housing charity Shelter has revealed concerns about possible repossession or tenant eviction have led to 22 per cent of people using less energy in the past year, while 34 per cent have cut down on food spending.

While this may have included more energy efficiency and perhaps a more healthy diet rather than actually starving in some cases, others might be faced with a more stark choice of whether to heat, eat or pay their mortgage.

Describing the figures as "staggering", chief executive of Shelter Campbell Robb remarked: "It demonstrates the tough choices families are now having to make, between heating their home, putting a decent meal on the table or paying for the roof over their head."

For some, such a situation may be made worse by being in debt and in such cases, seeking a debt management plan may help, by spreading out repayments and ensuring less is paid each month.

Mr Robb said the charity "strongly" urges anyone who is in danger of losing their home to seek help and advice as soon as they can.

Another measure that may help consumers who are in difficulty is to see what benefits they might be able to claim.

Managing director of Debt Advice Foundation David Rodger recently advised people to check this out, noting that many who are in trouble fail to do so and therefore miss out on getting much-needed help.

By James Francis

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