LibLink: Stephen Lloyd MP on Univeral Credit and homelessness

Stephen Lloyd writes on Politics Home today warning that without provision direct payments to landlords of the housing element of Universal Credit, there will be rising evictions and private sector landlords will be less willing to take on UC tenants.

On Universal Credit however, payments continue to be paid directly to claimants until they have built up hefty rent arrears, arrears which recent evidence shows will inevitably lead to a rise in Section 21 evictions, and yet another rise in homelessness (in the last 12 months, the RLA reports that 1 in 3 landlords have attempted to evict a tenant, 60% of which was due to rent arrears). Given that there are over 1.3 million housing benefit claimants in the private rental sector, the impact could be absolutely devastating.

In addition, the business model of most private landlords means they simply cannot go for long without a rental payment, let alone the 3 months it normally takes before a struggling claimant will be moved onto automatic payments.

He goes on to argue for every UC claimant to have the right to opt for direct payments of the housing element to landlords, indeed that it should be the default option as in Northern Ireland.

Read the whole thing here.

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3 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 9th Jan '18 - 5:03pm

    This is common sense, so the Tories will probably not do it.
    When Ian Duncan Smith resigned David Cameron was angry, but eventually decided to welcome the IDS decision.
    IDS was on News24 today, talking primarily about the cabinet reshuffle. He said, inter alia, that some people come into the new system with existing debts which take time to clear. The implication is that their budgets will cause dieting.

  • David Evans 9th Jan '18 - 6:38pm

    This is a huge problem and it is good to hear that Stephen is speaking out on it. Labour under Jeremy Corbyn are clearly opposing this and it is essential that none of us give the impression we have ceded it to to them, otherwise we will be seen unconcerned about the dispossessed and instead just as a party of middle class angst and ever more divorced from the problems of most of people in our country.

    Every one of us, at all levels in the party, should be giving our utmost attention to it.

  • David Warren 9th Jan '18 - 7:38pm

    Well done to Stephen Lloyd who is doing a brilliant job highlighting the many problems with Universal Credit.

    I am hoping the next step will be to develop a wider campaign for reforms in the welfare system based on our Liberal values.

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