1m families struggle with home cost

More than a million struggling British families are spending at least a third of their income on housing costs, a think-tank has revealed.

Work by the Resolution Foundation shows 1.3 million households on low to middle incomes are spending more than they can reasonably afford on mortgage payments, rent and maintenance costs - forgoing other essentials such as food to pay their bills.

The highest proportion of those families with unaffordable housing costs live in London (16%) and the South East of England (15%), while just 2% live in Northern Ireland, and 3% per cent in England's North East.

Vidhya Alakeson, deputy chief executive of the Resolution Foundation and joint author of the report, said: "Many families are struggling to find any type of housing which fits both their needs and their budget.

"Often they are making difficult choices which mean going without other essentials to pay their housing bills or living in overcrowded conditions - all this at a time when other living costs are rising.

"We've become used to the idea that buying a property is now an impossible dream for millions of people on low to middle incomes - in a typical case it would take 22 years just to save the deposit.

"But, increasingly, private rent is also becoming unaffordable, even though, for many families, it is the only option."

The analysis draws on detailed information about how much families are spending on housing, particularly at the lower end of the market.

The Resolution Foundation said the result of excessive housing costs is that families often have to make trade-offs with other areas of their spending such as furniture, clothing, travel or even food.

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