Homeless charity sees calls soar as Sunderland families struggle

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A HOMELESS support charity has seen an increase in demand for services in the North East due to the rising cost of living.

In the last year, Shelter has seen a 39 per cent increase in callers from the region over housing costs, arrears and other debt.

In the last six months, visitors to Shelter’s online housing costs advice have doubled.

The figures come as research from Shelter revealed that those who are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage have few options for increasing their income.

Just 21 per cent said they or their partner could get extra hours at work, and only two per cent could get a second job.

Last month, the charity reported that almost a third of people across the country have already cut back on food to help pay housing costs.

Chief executive Campbell Robb said: “Sadly, with little remaining of the housing safety net meant to support them in tough times, many can quickly find themselves at risk of losing their home.

“Every day, we speak to people who are on the brink and have nowhere left to turn.

“But getting early support from a charity like Shelter can help families get back in control of their finances, and prevent the downward spiral that can ultimately lead to homelessness.

“We’re urging everyone in the North East to pass on the message to their friends and family that help is out there. Free, expert housing advice from Shelter can help people stay in their homes.”

For more information, visit www.shelter.org.uk/advice.