More than two in five working families in England have cut back on buying food and clothing in the past year to pay their rent or mortgage, according to a new poll from Shelter.
Around 3.7 million households said they have been forced to reduce spending on essentials, with almost one in 10 parents saying they had to skip meals in the past 12 months.
The YouGov survey questioned 1,580 working parents, and found that one in five (19%) said they cut back on buying their children new clothing or shoes to pay housing costs.
More than half of working parents admitted that they struggled to pay their mortgage or rent from time to time or constantly, or that they were falling behind with payments.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "These figures are an acute reminder of the tough choices that working families are having to make to keep a roof over their children's heads."