Section: Welfare Benefits

UK Government must take responsibility for consequences of Universal Credit implementation

Posted 15.11.17
Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA): Article link

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) is calling for the UK Government to act urgently on Universal Credit, as the implementation of the policy is pushing tenants into debt and poverty as well as jeopardising the financial sustainability of housing associations.

This latest call for action comes as mounting evidence from SFHA members shows the impact the continued roll-out of Universal Credit is having.

One respondent to the Federation's monthly survey on the policy stated:

"Universal Credit claimants make up 21% of our tenants - but they account for 59% of our rent arrears.

Tenants who have Housing Benefit paid to themselves, and are responsible for making rent payments, make up 3% of our tenants but only account for 0.5% of our arrears".

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A year on lower benefit cap is pushing thousands into poverty

Posted 03.11.17
Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH): Article link

A year since its introduction a cap on benefits is pushing people into poverty and putting them at risk of homelessness, the Chartered Institute of Housing has said.

The cap reduced the total amount any family can receive in benefits from £26,000 to £23,000 in London and £20,000 outside of the capital, leaving families with significant shortfalls between the benefits they get and the cost of their housing.

Figures just released show that at August 2017, more than 68,000 families were affected by the lower benefit cap, which came into effect on 7 November 2016. Nearly a third of those families are losing between £50 and £100 a week as a result.

In a series of interviews CIH conducted with households affected by the cap, half said they had gone without food, fuel or were otherwise in debt as a result and a third said they had been forced to use food banks.

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Quick Links

Updated 15.11.17

  • Huffpost: Universal Credit: Hundreds of families to be evicted as letting agent warns it can't cope with arrears - a report following comments made by Jeremy Corbyn during Prime Minister's Question.
  • Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman: More than 500 Bradford benefit claimants to have their appeal rights acknowledged following Ombudsman investigation - the Council has agreed to review more than 500 applications.

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    Reporting on November 2017

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