Andrew Smith MP

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Andrew supports Shelter’s housing campaign to help those with housing difficulties

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For lots of people, the New Year period brings further challenges and worries.

The Housing charity Shelter has estimated that one in eleven people fear they won't be able to afford to pay the rent or mortgage at the end of this month. Yet many people in this situation would feel too ashamed to ask for help. Shelter's helpline receives too many calls from people in desperation, and on the brink of losing their home, because bills and notices have been left unopened and problems have piled up. Housing difficulties are particularly common in Oxford where the cost of living is the highest outside London, yet fewer people are paid a living wage.

That's why Shelter are urging anyone worried about paying their rent or mortgage to make seeking early housing advice their New Year's resolution.

Andrew said: "Every day I am contacted by people who are struggling with their housing situation. Anyone concerned about meeting their rent or mortgage payments should seek advice as early as possible - many people leave it too late, when preventative action can be more effective."

You can access advice from Shelter on their website at www.shelter.org.uk/get_advice or by contacting them free on 0808 800 444 (8am-8pm from Monday to Friday, or Saturdays and Sundays, 8am-5pm).

Shelter also offers a free drop-in service in Cowley or in Oxford city centre, details as follows;

Tuesdays, 9am-5pm, Templars Square Customer Service Centre, 2-3 Bank Court, Templars Square, 129 Pound Way, Cowley, OX4 3XH

Thursdays, 9am-5pm, St Aldate's Customer Service Centre, St Aldate's Chambers, 109 St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1DS

If you live in social housing and have any specific housing issues you would like me to raise with the council, then please do contact me and I would be happy to take up any concerns.

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