Next stage of ‘safe and secure’ universal credit roll out revealed
Lord Freud has revealed the details of the next stage of the Universal Credit roll-out.
The next stage of the welfare reform will start in June, where the ‘safe and secure’ roll-out will be enforced at more jobcentres across the North West of England each week. And once every jobcentre across the region is covered, 90 jobcentres (or 1 in 8 jobcentres in Britain) will offer the full Universal Credit.
Wigan, Warrington, Tameside and Oldham have already launched the full universal credit – with a total of 10 sites currently accepting UC claims across the UK.
From this summer couples will be able to make new Universal Credit Claims from jobcentres delivering the full Universal Credit roll-out.
Lord Freud said:
‘We now have 10 sites successfully running universal credit in England, Scotland and Wales and the next step is to open the new benefit to claimants across the north west as part of our safe and secure roll-out.
‘Universal credit is helping to ensure that work pays and is part of the government’s long-term plan to get more people into work and off benefits.’
According to latest research from the British Property Federation increasing confusion over how rent arrears will be tackled under Universal Credit has prompted 39% of landlords with more than 10 properties to reduce the number of lets available to benefit claimants.
At LandlordReferencing.co.uk we believe that the Government’s “flagship” welfare reform via Universal Credit will only make thousands more tenants homeless in the UK, as well as heaping even more debt onto the country and the taxpayer (especially if the option of Housing Benefit being paid directly to the landlord is abolished) e.g. Failed UC Pilots.
Reasons why direct payment of housing costs are an extremely important option for both landlords and tenants :
- Direct payments help reduce the personal debt of landlords and tenants.
- Direct payments help to reduce the risk of a tenant losing their home.
- Direct payments help to reduce the risk of landlords losing their investments.
- More than 15% of local authority tenants and 13% of housing association tenants do not have a bank account; therefore would be unable to pay their rent by direct debit if this option was abolished.
- The financial security that comes from direct payments has been critical for social landlords in securing private investment at highly competitive rates – which has maximised their capacity to deliver much needed affordable housing at good value to the taxpayer.
- A research report by Policis in 2012 [ Optimising welfare reform outcomes for social tenants ] found that 86% of social tenants believe “strongly” that it is better for their Housing Benefit to be paid direct to the landlord so that they are secure in their home.
- With 9 out of 10 tenants opting for rent to be paid direct to their landlord 92% stated that they would choose this option again, if given the choice.
Landlords, Letting Agents and Tenants please share your views and experiences with regards to Universal Credit by CLICKING HERE.