Universal Credit: Housing

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Laura Smith Laura Smith Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to extend direct to landlord payments to all claimants of the housing element of universal credit.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Universal Credit incentivises work by making the journey from unemployment to employment as smooth as possible, without the hurdles that exist within the current system. Paying claimants their housing costs direct means their landlord sees no changes in rent payments when they move into work. Consequently the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will, in the majority of cases, pay eligible housing costs directly to the claimant as has been the case for Housing Benefit in the Private Rented Sector since 2008.

Nonetheless, both the claimant and landlord are able to request an alternative payment arrangement (APA) to have rent paid direct to the landlord at any point in the claim should the need arise.

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