More than one in three households in social housing in the north of England have no money at all left at the end of each week after they have met their financial commitments, according to new research.
The report is the first to emerge from a three-year research project tracking the impact of benefits reform on a self-selecting sample of households in social housing in the north of England. It provides a 'baseline' against which the effects of cuts will be monitored in the coming months.
- Households are surviving on restricted budgets and struggling to get by. 65 per cent have less than £10 a week to live on after paying rent and for essentials such as food and fuel. 37 per cent have nothing left at the end of each week.
- Households are intending to cut back spending on food and fuel, with 25 per cent already spending less than £20 a week on food.
- Eight out of ten of the households are in debt, and 83 per cent are worried about getting into more debt. Over half of those with debts doubt whether they will ever be able to clear them. The average level of debt is £2,418.
- Households are reporting increases in levels of stress and depression. 88 per cent of households are worried that benefit changes will affect their health and well-being.
Source: Real Life Reform: Report 1, Northern Housing Consortium, York University, and seven other organizations