Friday, 18 April 2014

Income to be protected from welfare reform

Changes to welfare payments for housing costs will not damage the income streams of social landlords, the government has promised.

Today’s housing strategy states the universal credit welfare system that is replacing other forms of benefit will be constructed so it does not harm housing association finances.

Registered providers have raised concerns that plans to switch payments so they go direct to tenants rather than landlords would lead to an increase in arrears and make lenders more cautious about investing in the sector.

The paper notes there are advantages to paying benefits direct to tenants, but also states: ‘We will… design universal credit so that it contains safeguards to help protect social landlords’ income streams, and ensure that sufficient support mechanisms are in place for those who need help managing their finances.’

It adds that these safeguards are likely to include ‘tenant support’ and ‘mechanisms to switch payment back to landlords where necessary and arrangements to recoup any arrears’.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Rick Campbell

    The detail will be very interesting considering Chris Grayling says this ---

    Whilst I can appreciate the concerns of.. ..we believe that Universal Credit should, as far as possible, replicate a wage, so the way in which it is paid is of critical importance. We want to see very many more people handle their own benefit and rent payments. The Second Reading of the Welfare Reform Bill in the House of Lords on 13 September marked the next step in the legislative process. Last November’s Welfare Reform White Paper noted that there are advantages in paying the housing component to working-age tenants in the social rented sector, rather than the current system of payment direct to landlords. This would encourage people to manage their own budget in the same way as other households.
    Tenants of working age who are likely to run into financial difficulties managing their own rent will continue to have their housing support paid directly to their landlord. This will also be the case for current State Pension-age tenants.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Sadly the Universal credit sounds like another benefit cut,as
    for example a claimant might get a one off weekly payment
    of say £100pw,whereas seperate payments of JSA/ HB / CTB
    might add up to £150pw.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

More Newsletters

Related

Articles

  • Direct line

    10 June 2013

  • Direct payment pilots extended to test bedroom tax

    16 May 2013

    The Department for Work and Pensions has extended pilots testing the direct payment of housing benefit to tenants to assess the impact of the bedroom tax.

  • Freud: Bedroom tax will keep down interest rates

    27 June 2013

    Lord David Freud has defended the bedroom tax by saying it is needed to keep interest rates low, after encountering fierce criticism at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Manchester today.

  • Breaking point

    03/05/2013

    As the axe falls on legal aid and local authority budgets, the lifeline offered by Citizens Advice Bureaux to people in need of help is hanging by a thread. Lydia Stockdale kicks off our midlands special by visiting the Birmingham branch

  • Digital revolution

    27/09/2013

    Welfare reform has placed a heavy burden on social landlords’ resources but results from an exclusive new survey reveal that many organisations are turning to technology to lighten the load. Jess McCabe reports

Resources

  • You are where you live

    21/06/2013

    Stunning views and elegant Georgian architecture aren’t necessarily what you would expect from a homelessness hostel. Caroline Thorpe investigates why one charity thinks a beautiful location is key to its success

  • Fighting back

    01//11/2013

    As the private rented sector continues to grow, so does the number of problematic landlords. Michael Pooler finds out how tenants are taking matters into their own hands to fight for better conditions

  • Home help

    06/09/2013

    Welfare reform has piled financial pressure on tenants and their landlords alike. Alex Turner meets a former housing professional who quit her job to start a business she hopes will reduce rent arrears and improve residents’ lives

  • Staying power

    04/10/2013

    By providing a range of services from discounted furniture to advice on everything from welfare to energy, one social enterprise is enabling tenants to avoid debt and stay in their home for longer. Louise Hunt reports.

  • The elephant in the room

    23/08/2013

    Mental health is still a taboo subject, especially in the workplace. Here, Lydia Stockdale finds out what one former housing worker is doing to get it out in the open