Saturday, 03 December 2016

Debt charity warns of sofa surfing rise

People are having to sleep on friend’s sofas because they are unable to meet the costs of their own home, a charity has warned.

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service has said it is receiving calls to its helpline for the first time from people who have had to move in with friends so they can rent out their property.

Advisors say since the summer several people have called who are sleeping on the sofa of a friend or family member, and often they have had to rent out their own homes because they were struggling to pay the mortgage.

There are also people who have been evicted from rented accommodation or lost their home through repossession because of debt.

Laura Carver, head of helpline at CCCS, said: ‘Loss of home is often the greatest fear for those struggling with debt.

‘While only a small number of people with debt problems end up living on the streets, more are in effect rendered homeless because of rent or mortgage arrears.

‘Sleeping on a friend’s sofa is better than sleeping outside but it means that you still don’t have a home.’

The charity advises people in this situation to seek help with charities, such as Shelter, to help with accommodation issues.

The CCCS predicted this trend will continue as cuts to the public sector and benefit changes take effect.

It has already counselled 14,967 people with mortgage arrears and 6,820 people with rental arrears this year.

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