TENS of thousands of Leeds families could not pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they were suddenly faced with unemployment, according to a report.
Shocking new figures from charity Shelter reveal nearly half of all working families in the North of England are on the brink of financial meltdown.
The charity surveyed working adults who pay rent or a mortgage, and found that with little or no savings to fall back on, over a third of all families in the region would be unable to afford their home if they lost their income.
The charity’s overall findings showed that 3.8 million working families from across the UK could not pay their rent or mortgage from their savings for more than a month if they lost their job, and 2.4 million of these families have no savings to fall back on at all.
The latest Government figures on savings also revealed that there are 15 million working age adults in the UK with no savings at all. Liz Clare, a helpline advisor at Shelter, said: “This research highlights the financial knife-edge that millions of us now find ourselves on – living month to month, paycheque to paycheque.
“Every day we see the proof that just one piece of bad luck, like a sudden job loss or illness, could tip any of us into a spiral that puts the family home at risk.
“Sky-high housing costs and stagnating wages mean that saving is becoming a thing of the past for many people.
“Most of us simply don’t have enough money in the bank that we can rely on for long enough to get back on our feet.
“We need better government support to give families the short-term help they need to keep their homes if they fall on hard times.”
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, added: “Finding another job is hard enough, but without a stable place to live it’s almost impossible.
“No matter how hard ordinary families work, in today’s ‘knife-edge nation’ any drop in income can all too quickly put their home at serious risk.”
Leeds council bosses have recently revealed a new city-wide anti-poverty strategy.
Under the plans, led by a new ‘Citizens and Communities’ directorate, key services will work together and be organised specifically to offer a streamlined service to tackle all the issues around poverty and deprivation.
Poverty campaigners in the city have also recently launched the Leeds Poverty Truth Challenge, a new drive to bring together some of those in need with politicians and business leaders to influence policy.
To contact Shelter for free, independent advice visit www.shelter.org.uk/advice or call the helpline on 0808 800 4444.