Home Housing Nearly 3 in 4 universal credit households in rent arrears, report warns

Nearly 3 in 4 universal credit households in rent arrears, report warns

Government urged to slow down the roll-out of Universal Credit and fix outstanding problems.

Must Read

Number of Brits suffering from malnutrition has soared under the Tories

Labour described the shocking increase in malnutrition cases as "unforgivable" and said government ministers "should be ashamed".

Benefit claimant with broken back killed himself after being found ‘fit for work’ by DWP

He was left pennniless and unable to pay the rent or top up his electricity meter.

Universal Credit staff poised for further walk-outs

PCS union warns that strike action could spread to more Universal Credit Services Centres.

UK pensioners ‘suffering the worst poverty rate in western Europe’

Tories warned against further rises to the state pension age.

In a joint report, published yesterday, the NFA and ARCH warn that Universal Credit is increasing the burden of rent debt on social housing tenants and landlords.

In their new report, ‘Carrying the debt, Measuring the impact of Universal Credit on tenants and landlords‘, NFA and ARCH express strong concerns over the length of time it takes tenants to establish control over their finances after being moved to Universal Credit.

The NFA and ARCH, who together represent over a million council homes, are calling on the UK Government to slow down the roll-out and fix outstanding problems with the new benefit system.

They are also urging the Government to move to payment monthly in advance, rather
than in arrears, to recognise that claimants often do not have a safety net to get them through the first month.

Key findings from the report include:

• Average arrears for UC households (£520) were one and a half times higher than arrears in general (£328). Nearly three quarters of UC households were in arrears (74%) compared with 26% of all households.
• The situation has not changed significantly since 2017 and many of the same problems remain.
• For tracked organisations there has been a total increase in debt of 12% up to £43.6 million; 25% of this debt is from UC households even though they only make up 4% of total households.
• The length of time it can take for tenants to clear the arrears built up in the transition to UC with the knock-on effects for both the tenants and landlord is very concerning, with evidence that it can take up to 24 months to clear the debt.

Eamon McGoldrick, NFA Managing Director: “We are pleased that the Government has listened to us and other partners and implemented changes to the UC system which should see improvements for tenants and landlords as the roll out progresses.

“We will continue to work with DWP to ensure our members’ experience and concerns shape the system.

“However, we still have deep concerns about the ongoing impact of UC on tenants, many of whom are already deeply vulnerable, and we are calling on the Government to fix the biggest flaw in the UC system, which is payment in arrears.

John Bibby, ARCH Chief Executive, said: “Our members are heavily investing in supporting tenants to successfully transition to UC, however the level of arrears debt being accrued is having a huge impact on Council HRAs, which are already under pressure.

“It will also not be possible to sustain the levels of intensive support to tenants as the roll-out continues and resources become increasingly stretched.

“For this reason, we are calling on the Government to provide sufficient transitional funding for landlords to enable them to effectively manage the roll-out and adequately support vulnerable tenants.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Rent arrears are complicated and they cannot be attributed to a single cause. Our research shows that many people join Universal Credit (UC) with pre-existing arrears, but the proportion of people with arrears falls by a third after four months in UC.

“This report recognises that we have made significant improvements to help claimants get support sooner and the impact of these changes is still to be felt.

“This includes removing the seven waiting days, making 100% advance payments available from day one and providing two weeks’ extra housing support for people joining UC from Housing Benefit, that doesn’t have to be repaid.”

SUPPORT US!

If you would like to see more stories like this please consider a one off donation. Thank you for your support!

2 COMMENTS

  1. I guess the UK won’t be happy until ALL of their white native citizens are homeless, living in cardboard boxes eating grass at the side of the road….while the invaders live in their houses rent FREE and eat gourmet meals FREE; Keep electing those foreigners Mayors of your cities and you, too can be homeless and eating grass!!!

    • I have to ask, where DO you people get this stuff?

      Because they’re not choosing to treat immigrants better than native Brits, they’re treating everyone poor like crap.

      Be angry at the Tories who chose austerity to hammer the poorest, to weaken society, to destroy public services. Not at white or black people who are struggling to eat or pay rent.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FOLLOW US

16,637FansLike
9,363FollowersFollow

Latest News

Universal Credit staff poised for further walk-outs

PCS union warns that strike action could spread to more Universal Credit Services Centres.

Number of Brits suffering from malnutrition has soared under the Tories

Labour described the shocking increase in malnutrition cases as "unforgivable" and said government ministers "should be ashamed".

Jeremy Corbyn: Tories failing homeless children and poverty-stricken families

Labour leader vows to end the benefit freeze and halt the rollout of Universal Credit.

Half of private landlords say tenants on Universal Credit have rent arrears

54% of private landlords have tenants on Universal Credit who have fallen behind on rent payments.

130,000 families forced to live in one bed flats due to chronic social housing shortage

Calls for a £12.8bn national investment in social housing building.

More Articles Like This