DWP to make changes to the way social landlords apply for 'alternative payment arrangements'.

  • Sometimes, landlords can apply to the DWP to have benefit paid to them under an APA, which can be put in place where a claimant is vulnerable or in existing debt, or if two months' worth of arrears accrue. However, under universal credit, housing benefit is paid to tenants directly.

    According to Inside Housing, social landlords in four ‘pathfinder' areas in the north west of England have complained of delays to APA requests, poor communication from the DWP and instances of the department failing to acknowledge requests.

    The DWP has agreed to make changes, including bringing in a standard form for APA requests.

    The NHF, in a newsletter issued on Monday, said:

    "There is an ongoing commitment to work together to learn lessons from early implementation and seek solutions before the wider roll-out."

    A DWP spokesperson also confirmed that there will be a standard form for APAs issued from next month. He said:

    "We have listened carefully to the social housing industry, ...Universal credit is currently being claimed by single people with ‘simple' claims but will be rolled out to families in the pathfinder areas this summer."

    Picture Source: (http://www.virtual-college.co.uk/products/reg-frame-social-housing.aspx)

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