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Fuel and food cutbacks pay rent or mortgage for millions

It also means that 16 million people have reduced spending on food to meet their housing costs, up 44% since 2008.

The charity is calling on anyone who is struggling with their housing costs to seek 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 shelter.org.uk. The website also includes a new budget calculator and tips on how to save on home fuel bills.

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said: "These staggering findings show just how many millions of people 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."

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