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