Friday, 01 August 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

  • 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

  • Breaking point

    24/01/2014

    Aggression, desperation and even suicide threats have become a grim part of daily life for front line housing professionals since the introduction of welfare reform. Lydia Stockdale reports on the training designed to help them cope

  • We will protect you

    20/06/2014

    Universal credit is still a work in progress, but that means proper safeguards are being put in place, says Lord David Freud

  • Learning curve

    17/04/2014

    A year on from the introduction of the bedroom tax, Jess McCabe catches up with Inside Housing’s welfare reform focus group to find out if dealing with the impact of the changes has become child’s play or if it’s still requiring baby steps

  • Frozen out

    30/08/2013

    When the government announced its controversial welfare reforms, it promised that supported housing would be protected from the impact. So why are some providers still left out in the cold? Martin Hilditch investigates

Resources

  • 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

  • Back on the front line

    15/11/2013

    WM Housing chief executive Pat Brandum went back to the shop floor to experience first-hand how her organisation helps vulnerable young people. Alex Turner finds out what she learned

IH Subscription