As many as one in four Scottish renters or mortgage holders are worried about whether they’ll be able to cover their housing costs over the course of this year.
That’s according to the homelessness charity Shelter Scotland, which has published an extensive piece of research highlighting some of the key financial difficulties being faced by households nationwide.
Shelter’s research suggests that around a third of Scots relied on debt and borrowing to cover their rent or their mortgage bills in 2020.
Generally, that borrowing involved dipping into overdrafts, using credit cards or borrowing from friends and family, the research suggests.
Meanwhile, roughly one in four Scots (28 per cent) are understood to have cut back on their spending recently to make sure they can cover their rent or mortgage bills.
Around one in 10 of the people polled by YouGov on behalf of Shelter Scotland said they had skipped meals in order to make sure they could pay their housing bills and almost one in five said they turned off their heating in cold weather to save money for the same reason.
For a significant number of Scots, the issue of housing costs has clearly become a source of real stress and for around 18 per cent of those people the associated worries have at least contributed to feelings of depression.
Shelter Scotland has called on politicians to work quickly to find ways of easing some of the financial pressures households across the country are currently feeling and, in the longer term, to build more affordable homes for people to live in.
“The only way to tackle the housing emergency and give hope to struggling families is to keep building more affordable homes,” says Alison Watson from Shelter Scotland.
“To date the Scottish government has brought security to tens of thousands of individuals and families with major social house-building programmes, but the job isn’t done and this is the worst possible time to take the foot off the accelerator.”
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