Universal Credit inquiry launched
The National Audit Office is launching an inquiry into the effectiveness of Universal Credit.
The inquiry will examine whether the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is on course to deliver Universal Credit, in accordance with its plans.
It will also assess whether there are early signs that Universal Credit is delivering its objectives, and what impact it is having both on claimants and on local stakeholders.
The RLA has criticise the system, which ‘bundles’ individual benefits into a single monthly payment, as it makes it harder for landlords to rent to people who are on low incomes, because they lack the confidence that they will receive the rent.
Recent research published by RLA research lab PEARL shows a significant number of landlords who have tenants in receipt of Universal Credit have seen them fall into arrears.
In a sample size of 2,974 landlords, 38% reported that they have experienced Universal Credit tenants going into rent arrears in the past twelve months and were owned, on average £1,600 in rent arrears.
And in July charity Citizens Advice said the rollout of Universal Credit should be paused until ‘significant problems’ with it are fixed.
Recently, RLA directors David Smith and Chris Town met with Caroline Dinenage MP, the new Minister responsible for housing cost support at the Department for Work and Pensions, to discuss issues including rent arrears and direct payments, during which she promised to investigate the association’s concerns.
Written by Victoria Barker