One in three people have cut back on food spending in the past year to cover their monthly mortgage fees, says Shelter.
Some 16 million of the adult population are spending less on groceries to keep up with their repayments - a massive increase of 44% since 2008.
In addition, 10 million people, which is more than one in five, have also cut back on gas and electricity spending to help meet their rent or mortgage payments. This is an increase of 60% since 2008.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, says: "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.”
The research was conducted in December by YouGov for Shelter and 4,014 people were questioned.
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