One in three homes falling apart…

Following the recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which states that the UK’s poorest families will be hit the hardest by the coalition’s emergency budget, the research revealed that women in particular are suffering financially with one in five (20%) forced to allow their home to deteriorate as they cannot afford to repair it.

Responding to growing concern over this wealth gap, Saga Personal Finance’s poll of more than 14,000 over 50s revealed that more than one in six people (16%) cite roofing as the aspect most in need of repair and one in seven (13%) say their drainage and guttering needs fixing.

When asked how they might pay for housing maintenance, over one in seven say they cannot afford it; half (50%) said they would use savings and almost a third (31%) said they would turn to their regular income or pension. Interestingly, fewer than 1% said would ask family or a friend for the financial support.

Other key findings:

· Many over 50s may be cold this winter as almost one in ten (8%) say their heating needs mending.

· London homes seem to be suffering most, with 42% of Londoners in need of housing repair.

· The Scots may expect a wet and windy winter as an astonishing 26% are in need of roofing repair.

· 34% of men said they would use their regular income or pension to mend their homes compared to 26% of women.

Andrew Goodsell, Executive Chairman, Saga Group commented:

“People are living longer which means that retirement incomes have to stretch a lot further to keep up with inflation. Many retirees find they need additional cash, whether it is to make every day life easier, fund house repairs, take the trip of a lifetime, or to contribute to care in later life.

For many equity release is the ideal solution to this, however until now the market has not listened to people’s needs and providers insist on charging hefty fees upfront, which prevent many people from being able to access their money.”

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