Are you cutting back on fuel or food to keep a roof over your head?

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More than one million people in South East cutting back on fuel and food bills to help pay their rent or mortgage

Just over 1 in 6 people in the South East (18 per cent) have spent less on gas and electricity to help pay their rent or mortgage in the last 12 months, and 36% of people in the South East have spent less on food, a new survey from Shelter reveals today.

The results from the YouGov survey of 4,014 people across Great Britain equates to just over 1.2 million people in the South East4 reducing the amount they have spent on fuel for the home, up 23 per cent since 2008. It also means that just over 2.4 million people in the South East have reduced spending on food to meet their housing costs, up 33 per cent since 2008.

The charity is calling on anyone who is struggling with their housing costs to make seeking early advice, in order to try to prevent them putting their home at risk.

Shelter has a network of specialist advice services around the country, a free helpline and online advice available at . The website also includes a new budget calculator and tips on how to save on home fuel bills.

Chief executive Campbell Robb said: “These staggering findings show just how many thousands of people in the South East are cutting back on essentials as the continued squeeze on incomes starts to really bite.

“It demonstrates the tough choices families are now having to make, between heating their home, putting a decent meal on the table or paying for the roof over their head.

“Every two minutes someone in Britain is at risk of losing their home. We strongly urge anyone struggling to pay their rent or mortgage to seek advice as early as possible.”