Dr Liam Fox MP showed his support for people fighting bad housing and homelessness in North Somerset recently, when he attended the launch of Shelter’s new campaign to raise awareness of its vital advice and support services.
Liam attended the event on Tuesday 5th January where he met with Shelter’s Director of Services Alison Mohammed to discuss the frontline services Shelter delivers in North Somerset, and across the UK. These include the 96 cases that Shelter dealt with in the North Somerset area last year alone.
Prompted by a new Shelter and YouGov survey, the event highlighted the strain families face in the South West in January, with 1 in 8 rent or mortgage payers fearing they will be unable to meet their housing costs this month.
At the same time 12% of people in the South West are cutting back on winter fuel and clothing to meet their housing payments – the equivalent of 500,000 people.
Liam and Shelter are urging anyone who is struggling with their housing costs to seek advice, before problems spiral out of control. Shelter, the leading housing and homelessness charity, helps over 4 million people a year with free, practical housing advice, through its online support, face to face and national helpline services.
Dr Liam Fox MP said: “Shelter’s frontline services provide invaluable assistance to many of North Somerset’s residents, particularly at what can be an extremely tough time of year. I know from my regular surgeries that it is absolutely critical people who are struggling to stay in their homes seek help at the earliest opportunity. I would urge anyone who is having difficulty making their rent or mortgage payments to contact Shelter, or myself, as soon as they can”.
Shelter’s Director of Services Alison Mohammed said: “Every day at Shelter we hear from families who face the bleak choice between missing their rent or cutting back on heating. Or from parents whose children have stopped asking for treats because they know they’re struggling just to keep a roof over their heads.
“No-one should have to face these problems alone, which is why Shelter is here 365 days a year. Getting advice early can make all the difference, and we’re only ever a click or a call away at shelter.org.uk/advice or on 0808 800 4444.”
Notes to Editors
· Shelter has been helping people fight bad housing and homelessness for 50 years. For free and independent advice from Shelter visit shelter.org.uk/advice or call the helpline on 0808 800 4444
· YouGov plc conducted an online survey with a representative and weighted sample of 4,527 GB adults. Fieldwork was conducted 16th-18th November 2015. All results presented are from people who live in the South West, of which there are 367.
· 20% of rent or mortgage payers said they have already cut back on either using energy to heat their home or buying winter clothing to help meet their rent or mortgage payments this winter. Using the 2014 ONS mid-year population statistics, we have estimated that this is the equivalent of 500,000 people in the South West.
· 13% said they are worried about being able to afford to pay their rent or mortgage in January 2016.
· 18% said they have already cut back on buying food for Christmas or have used savings meant to be for Christmas presents to help meet their rent or mortgage payments this winter.
· Between November 2014 and October 2015, approximately 14,500 people either called the Shelter helpline or visited one of our face-to-face services in England for advice on rent and mortgage arrears
· Between November 2014 and October 2015, approximately 94,800 people visited the Shelter website for advice on rent and mortgage arrears