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The Impact of Universal Credit - National Housing Federation Conference

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Deven Ghelani presented about The Impact of Universal Credit at this National Housing Federation Conference on 21 June 2018 in Manchester.

In his session, accompanied by Donna Gallagher who has just joined Policy in Practice from Your Homes Newcastle, Deven shared analysis and policy commentary about how Universal Credit is impacting social housing tenants.

For more information visit www.policyinpractice.co.uk, email hello@policyinpractice.co.uk or call 0330 088 9242.

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The Impact of Universal Credit - National Housing Federation Conference

  1. 1. Policy in Practice The impact of Universal Credit Thursday 21 June 2018
  2. 2. We make the welfare system simple to understand, so that people can make the decisions that are right for them
  3. 3. Agenda • Universal Credit • Rollout update • The impact on rent arrears • Recent policy changes • NAO report • What do we know about tenants • Mapping the aggregate impact of UC on tenants • The impact on individual families and how to engage them • How housing associations are meeting these challenges • The experience at YHN • How things have changed • Q&A with the audience
  4. 4. 444www.policyinpractice.co.uk Universal Credit update
  5. 5. A fundamental aspect of both Local Housing Allowance and Universal Credit is that the payments go to the claimant not the landlord. DWP Full Service Survey • Just over a third of UC recipients were experiencing housing payment arrears and for 44 per cent, the situation had deteriorated between the two surveys. • One in three claimants in arrears in both waves said the situation had improved. • Two thirds (65 per cent) said they fell into debt after they made their claim for UC Universal Credit and rent arrears
  6. 6. Groups of claimants more likely to be in arrears were: • Those with a household income of less than £10,000. • Those with a long-term health condition. • Those renting from social landlords (council, local authority or housing association). • Those who have received an advance payment from Jobcentre Plus in the last three months • Those with an APA in place. Smith report: Arrears do stabilise with time at around 6%: a pattern of arrears accumulating Universal Credit and rent arrears Smith report: Arrears do stabilise with time at around 6% Not until week 13 do arrears fully stabilise and tenants begin to pay back arrears
  7. 7. National Audit Office report “The National Audit Office (NAO) concludes that Universal Credit has not delivered value for money and it is uncertain that it ever will.” “The Department for Work and Pensions (the Department) will never be able to measure whether it has achieved its stated goal of increasing employment.” “The NAO believes there is no practical alternative but to continue with Universal Credit.”
  8. 8. PIP Recommendations • Work with third parties • Be flexible • Properly resource support • Be open and transparent • Blog on visits Introduce KPIs • Lower cost per claim • Positive employment impact • Payment timeliness Our response to the report...
  9. 9. Universal Credit: Recent changes Recent changes to Universal Credit should improve the situation • Ending 7-day wait • Two week HB run-on • Twelve month repayment of payment in advance • 63% taper & Living Wage • Universal Credit on the frontline • Claimants in the private rented sector will have their housing benefit paid directly to landlords when they join UC, if that is the case today. • Protection for those losing out unfairly through transitional protection, including those losing the severe disability premium, with changing earnings or childcare costs, and protection for savers for 12 months. • Backed by PIPs ‘leading lights’ policy work ahead of the budget
  10. 10. 111111 What is the single biggest issue you face with Universal Credit rollout? What percentage of tenants struggle?
  11. 11. Key issues for supported housing Other barriers faced by supported housing tenants in making and managing their Universal Credit claim are common to many in general needs accommodation. While some tenants had access to a support worker, in general interviewees revealed barriers related to digital access, identification, budgeting, overpayments and access to a bank account. Better communication with DWP to support claim management, access to their work coach and ability to establish alternative payment arrangements would help all landlords, including supported housing support workers.
  12. 12. 131313www.policyinpractice.co.uk Mapping the impact of UC – Links: • Low Income Family Tracker • Benefit and Budgeting Calculator • Pan-London analysis
  13. 13. 141414www.policyinpractice.co.uk Over to Donna • Her response to Universal Credit at YHN
  14. 14. 151515www.policyinpractice.co.uk Questions from the audience
  15. 15. www.policyinpractice.co.uk Thank you Deven Ghelani deven@policyinpractice.co.uk Donna Gallagher donna@policyinpractice.co.uk hello@policyinpractice.co.uk office 0330 088 9242

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