“Nine in 10 Universal Credit tenants in arrears”

"Nearly 90% of social tenants receiving Universal Credit are in rent arrears because of a seven-week wait for the first payment, a report has revealed.

Exclusive research by the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) and the Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH) shows tenants have fallen into “shocking” levels of arrears since the scheme started to be rolled out nationally in April last year. A survey of 36 landlords carried out between October and November found the proportion of tenants receiving Universal Credit in rent arrears was three times the sector average rate of 31% because of systemic problems with the scheme.

It showed 89% of 2,000 new Universal Credit recipients were in arrears and, of these, 34% were subject to an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) which passes rent directly to landlords after accruing more than eight weeks of arrears. It also revealed tenants were suffering financial hardship, with some landlords reporting tenants turning to loan sharks to cover their costs during the seven-week wait for the first Universal Credit payment.

Landlords reported that these problems were being compounded by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) administrative difficulties, such as delays"


Source: Inside Housing