Average household now two and half months money from homelessness
Without a doubt, the housing crisis, a neglected political issue for decades, has cascaded into the homes of average people all across the country. In reality, the escalating problem of housing costs sucking more and more of our money means less savings – and that means less to defend ourselves with when things go wrong.
It always used to be considered years ago that about one-third of the household income would be spent on paying for a roof over your head. Not any more. In the cheapest areas of London, a whopping 46 per cent of household income goes on rent and it gets progressively worse from there.
According to a recent survey, the average Brit believes they could only pay their rent or mortgage for two-and-a-half months if they lost their job. And that’s it.
It suggests that many adults are just a couple of pay cheques away from facing homelessness, with three in four seriously worrying that they could end up losing their home if their financial situation changed.
The survey also found that nearly half (45 per cent) of those polled agree that anyone could become homeless and it just takes a run of bad luck for it to happen.
More than a third say they have had to leave their home because they couldn’t afford to live there.
The most common reasons for someone losing their home were because they lost their job and could not afford their housing costs (18 per cent) and a relationship breakdown forcing someone to move (18 per cent).
The survey goes on to point out that almost half say they know at least one person who has lost their home.
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Beam.org, the social enterprise which commissioned the poll, said the “sad reality” is that many people find themselves on the streets for reasons outside of their control.
Beam.org crowdfund to help homeless people help themselves get back on track through training and getting back into work.
The poll, which questioned 1,500 British adults, calculated that the average time that someone could pay their rent or mortgage if they lost their job was 2.5 months.
Three-quarters of Brits said they worry that if their financial situation changed in just one way, they might end up losing their home, or evicted.
Of these, 31 per cent said they worry about this all the time, and 45 per cent worry about it sometimes.
Almost one in five said that if they did lose their home because they couldn’t afford housing costs they would have nothing to fall back on.
Almost a third said they have savings to fall back on, while half could turn to family and 16 per cent to their friends.
Alex Stephany, founder and chief executive of Beam.org, said: “Whether it’s mental health-related, a relationship breakdown, or losing one’s job, the sad reality is that many people become homeless for reasons outside their control.
“But often, the difference between people tipping into homelessness or not comes down to the strength of their support networks.
“The people we support at Beam come from a variety of backgrounds but they usually lack this ‘scaffolding’ in their lives.