Statistics are published annually on the total value of local authority social housing rent arrears, and were most recently published on my Department’s website for 2011-12: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/73210/lahs-data-returns-for-2011-12.xls (Tab H of the spreadsheet).
Data for 2012-13 will be available at the end of this year.
The 2012 Global Accounts of Housing Providers, published by the social housing regulator in March 2013, show that current private registered providers’ tenant arrears at the end of the 2011-12 financial year were 4.8% in England. This is an improvement in performance on arrears compared to 2010-11, when they were 5.1%. The overall financial performance of the sector has also improved compared to the year before. The regulator will publish the Global Accounts for 2012-13 in spring 2014.
The Department does not collect official statistics on how many social housing tenants were in arrears for the first time nor on any notional sub-classification based on welfare reform.