Fears raised for fu­ture of fam­i­lies who can’t keep on top of their rent

Evening Telegraph (Late Extra Edition) - - Front Page - BY IQRA FAROOQ AND SARAH WIL­LIAMSON

CHA RITIES say more peo­ple across Dundee are strug­gling to pay their rent or mort­gages.

A na­tional poll for Shel­ter Scot­land, car­ried out by Yougov, showed that 12% of re­spon­dents were strug­gling to pay for the roof over their heads – about 200,000 house­holds – up from 9% two years ago.

About 36% of re­spon­dents also said they would strug­gle to pay their rent or mort­gage if the fees rose by as lit­tle as £50 a month this year.

The pic­ture is re­flected in Dundee, where or­gan­i­sa­tions that help peo­ple who find them­selves strug­gling for cash, or home­less, say they are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing greater de­mand for help.

Mike Cordiner, co-or­di­na­tor of the Ea­gles Wings Trust – which sup­ports home­less peo­ple – said is­sues were be­ing caused by the new ben­e­fits sys­tem.

He said: “Wait­ing times for Uni­ver­sal Credit has caused trou­ble.

“Some days it’s bru­tal and we’ve had peo­ple come to us with £5 left over the Christ­mas pe­riod.

“It can be a lonely time and it’s af­fect­ing many folk in the city.

“The older gen­er­a­tion can es­pe­cially strug­gle be­cause the ben­e­fit ap­pli­ca­tions are made on­line.

“It’s not al­ways down to al­co­hol and drugs is­sues.

“Don’t get me wrong – there’s a life­style side to be­ing made home­less – but also peo­ple be­ing af­fected fi­nan­cially.”

Michelle Har­row, man­ager of the Shel­ter Scot­land Dundee com­mu­nity hub, said: “These fig­ures re­flect what we see in the city with peo­ple com­ing to us say­ing they are strug­gling to af­ford to keep a roof over their heads.

“With so many i n i nse­cure em­ploy­ment it’s a huge source of stress for in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies across Tay­side.

“It’s really i mpor­tant that peo­ple know that seek­ing help as early as pos­si­ble can make a dif­fer­ence.

“Shel­ter Scot­land’s ad­vis­ers in Dundee rou­tinely find ways of in­creas­ing peo­ple’s in­come, man­ag­ing their bud­get bet­ter or help­ing them to ac­cess less ex­pen­sive hous­ing.

“We can help peo­ple take back con­trol of their lives rather than stick­ing their head in the sand.”

Mike Jen­nings, from Mort­gages and Fi­nance Ser­vices for All, warned that ig­nor­ing money wor­ries can put homes at risk.

He said: “Peo­ple’s lives are

Mike Cordiner of the Ea­gle Wings Trust.

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