A YouGov survey for the housing and homelessness charity also reveals that 15% of respondents – equating to almost seven million people – are relying on some form of credit to meet their housing costs, such as payday loans, unauthorised overdrafts, other loans and credit cards.
Shelter is warning that the new year could bring a risk of homelessness for those already struggling to pay their rent or mortgage.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, says: “These shocking findings show the extent to which millions of households across the country are desperately struggling to keep their home.
“Turning to short-term payday loans to help pay for the cost of housing is totally unsustainable. It can quickly lead to debts snowballing out of control and can lead to eviction or repossession and ultimately homelessness.”