New research by Shelter shows a surge in the number of people suffering from stress and depression due to high housing costs

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By Trucks79 | Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 09:04

All you seem to hear about lately is price increases, rises in the cost of fuel, rises in the cost of gas and electricity, food in fact everything seems to be going up in price.

A YouGov survey found that 18 million people a staggering (38 per cent) in Britain believe housing costs cause stress and depression in their family. This is a rise of seven million people (15 per cent) since 2009.

Shelter commissioned YouGov to investigate how the risk of repossession and rent rises are affecting people.

The survey also found that:

  • More than 13 million people (28 per cent) said they keep up with their rent or mortgage without any difficulty, a drop from 19 million people (41 per cent) in 2009.
  • 12 million people (26 per cent) have reduced the amount they spend on food to help pay their housing costs.

Shelter's Chief Executive Campbell Robb said: 'It is a worrying discovery that for more than 18 million people in this country high housing costs are such a strain they are suffering with stress and depression.

'But this is hardly surprising when so many people face the daily choice between cutting down on essentials like food or keeping a roof over their head. The impact this stress could have on family members as well as people's long term health is a real cause for concern, especially if this leads to a generation of people reliant on prescription drugs.'

A recent report from the NHS Prescription Services showed prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac have risen by more than 40 per cent over the past four years because of the economic pressures people are under.

Mr Robb added: 'The Government must recognize that investment in housing now can make savings to the NHS in the long term.  As more and more people succumb to the pressures of keeping up with basic housing costs, they too could find their heath suffering, putting even more pressure on an already overstretched health service.

'The Government promised to produce a long term strategy for housing, but we are yet to see any evidence of this. At a time when every two minutes someone faces the nightmare of losing their home it is essential that we see a clear plan for addressing the housing crisis as a matter of urgency.'

Marjorie Wallace, Chief Executive of the mental health charity SANE, said: 'These findings should be of profound concern to us all. At SANE, we are certainly hearing more from people who are deeply worried about their financial situation: where the next meal is coming from, job security, cuts in benefits and whether they can keep a roof over their head. Many are getting in touch with us for the first time.

'It is a toxic combination, especially for those who are already struggling with darker thoughts and other problems.

Last year 44,160 households were accepted as homeless according to statistics issued by the Communities and Local Government Department earlier this month.

Mortgage payers also have the added stress and worry each month with many of them anxiously waiting on news relating to the interest rates.

At the moment the base rate remains at an all-time low of just 0.5% but speculations of a rise in interest rates are hiding around the corner.

Mortgage payer Anne Gills from Thornbury said "I have not had a pay rise for over two years now, yet this year I have been hit with a rise in my energy bills, fuel costs and even my car insurance"

Local Trader Mark Collinge said "I have been looking to buy for around two years now but the banks all want high deposits, landlords also seem to put putting up rents as well, it's a catch 22"

Image from Flickr courtesy of alancleaver_2000

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Comments

       
  • Profile image for Trucks79

    In the ppers recently there has been alot of talk about the base rate and the new fear being that people are not budgeting for a base rate rise meaning when it happens many people will come unstuck.

    By Trucks79 at 17:50 on 29/06/11

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  • Profile image for bigmandave

    the base rate will go up at some point this year it has to. this alone will force people out on the streets, i just do not know what the solution is but something needs to be done and fast.

    By bigmandave at 15:20 on 21/06/11

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