19 January 2012 | By Tom Lloyd, Inside Housing

A third of people across Britain have cut back on food so they can pay their housing costs, according to a Shelter survey.

The research, produced for the charity by Yougov, also found 22 per cent of people have cut what they spend on gas and electricity so they can afford their housing costs over the last 12 months.

The figures show there has been a 57 per cent rise in people cutting spending on fuel to pay for housing, and a 42 per cent rise in people cutting back on food, since March 2008.

Shelter is urging anyone who is struggling with housing costs to seek help early to try to avoid losing their home.

Chief executive Campbell Robb 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.”

Yougov surveyed 4,014 adults during December.