Residents need financial security in the longer term to manage ongoing rent payments. Alongside housing association federations across the UK, we’re working with DWP to help.
As part of the Four Federations – housing association federations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – we have written to Will Quince, Minister for Welfare Delivery at DWP. Our letter commends the department for dealing with the unprecedented demand from people trying to make a claim for Universal Credit, but also raises the need for a new system to pay Managed Payments to Landlords in the social rented sector.
According to new Universal Credit statistics, 2.3 million individuals or households have provided information to start a claim since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown. Our letter commends the huge effort from DWP staff to deal with this volume of claims, including making over 800,000 Advance Payments.
We’ve set out the need to focus staff resources on supporting tenants to manage through this crisis. Residents and housing associations need to be able to keep track of rent paid. The current payment system for Managed Payments to Landlords makes this very hard.
A fix to this system has been tested and is ready to roll out. We are asking DWP to ensure that implementation of the aligned payment system will be prioritised as soon as capacity becomes available. This will give residents immediate reassurance that their rent is paid. It will also mean housing association frontline services can freed up allowing more time to support tenants.
We continue to share with DWP: