One in three universal credit claimants paying landlords directly
A secret survey has found that one in three universal credit claimants living in housing association properties are having their benefits for housing costs paid directly to their landlord.
Findings have revealed that the government’s intention to have all but a ‘small minority” of claimants paying their benefits for housing costs directly, a large portion of tenants appear to have been judged unable to pay their rent, reports Inside Housing.
A National Housing Federation survey of 25 housing associations in May found that 1,082 of 3,009 universal credit claimants were on an ‘alternative payment arrangement’.
The figures suggest a higher proportion of claimants could be on APAs than the government originally intended, although it is not clear the extent to which the NHF sample is representative of the wider universal credit caseload.
Sam Lister,policyand practice officer at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “The original idea would have had a much lower expectation of people who would need [APAs], probably nearer 10%, 15%, or 20%.”
A DWP spokesperson said the “vast majority” of tenants were managing rent payments well.
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