At least half a million pounds of unpaid rent is due to councils in the North East as tenants struggle to cope with the effects of benefit changes.
There were protests across the region when welfare reforms came into force in April.
The demonstrations were mainly about the so called bedroom tax which means tenants must pay more if they have a spare bedroom.
Two thirds of people in Newcastle who are affected are now in arrears.
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As many as 23% of North-East residents do not brush their teeth at least once a day, according to market research by Vital Statistics.