The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed that they will be testing the new system to pay social landlords direct payments. The new system will see landlords receive the housing cost element directly from the DWP at the same time that tenants receive their Universal Credit payments.
This is a positive announcement from the government and was one of the Federation's six asks to fix Universal Credit.
We have worked with the DWP on the design of the new system. If the test is successful it will be fully rolled out to all social landlords on the Landlord Portal in early 2020.
We have argued that the current system, based on four-weekly cycles, is not fit for purpose and worked with members and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Federations to press ministers on the urgent need for change.
Sue Ramsden, Policy Leader at the National Housing Federation, said: “This change is welcome news and a good example of social landlords and DWP working together to find effective solutions. A new system of direct payments will make it much easier for landlords to keep track of rent payments, saving them a great deal of time and resource. We look forward to the roll out of the new system in early 2020.”