MORE than a million families with children in the North of England could not pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job, a charity claims.

The YouGov survey of working adults who pay rent or a mortgage found that with little or no savings to fall back on, nearly half of all working families in the North could be just one pay cheque away from losing their home.

The research for homelessnes charity Shelter also found that more than a third of North families faced the prospect of immediately being unable to afford their home if they lost their income.

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More than 700,000 families said that if they lost their job this month and could not get another one straight away, they would not be able to make their next rent or mortgage payment from their savings.

The latest government figures on savings mirror Shelter’s research, revealing that there are 15 million working age adults in the UK with no savings at all.

The charity’s findings showed that 3.8 million working families from across the UK could not pay their rent or mortgage from their savings for more than a month if they lost their job.

Liz Clare, a helpline advisor at Shelter, said: “This research highlights the financial knife-edge that millions of us now find ourselves on – living month to month, pay cheque to pay cheque.

“Every day we see the proof that just one piece of bad luck, like a sudden job loss or illness, could tip any of us into a spiral that puts the family home at risk.”

The charity is calling for better government support to give families short-term help to keep their homes if they fall on hard times.