Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th September 2017.

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Photo of Stephen Lloyd Stephen Lloyd Liberal Democrat, Eastbourne

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, (a) how many and (b) what proportion of universal credit claimants have fallen into rent arrears in each month from January 2017.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

This information is not currently available. However, in order to address the issue of rent arrears in Universal Credit DWP are undertaking a number of initiatives.

Following successful pilots of the ‘Trusted Partner’ scheme and the ‘Landlord Portal Service’, DWP will rollout both initiatives together. We will start enrolling more landlords in stages from October, in tandem with the expansion of the Universal Credit Full Service. We will start with the largest landlord groups, in order to ensure the highest possible number of tenants are able to benefit from the schemes, as early as possible.

The Trusted Partner scheme allows social landlords to play a key role in engaging with their tenants who are Universal Credit claimants, helping those who can’t manage their housing payments to access the support available. The Landlord Portal provides social landlords with the ability to submit information directly to the Universal Credit online system, which supports timely and accurate payment of housing costs to Universal Credit claimants. The next stage of rollout for both initiatives means that all Trusted Partner landlords will have access to the Landlord Portal and we have already introduced this to the landlords involved in our Trusted Partner pilot.

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