Clarion Housing Group’s housing association chief executive Neil McCall gives Clarion’s position on Universal Credit.
“We absolutely recognise that the payment of housing costs directly to tenants supports the broad principles of financial inclusion and independence. However, our experience in areas where Universal Credit has been rolled out to date is that many of these claimants have rent arrears that are significantly higher than average*.
From the findings of our own 12 month research pilot commissioned by Sheffield Hallam University and involving 600 of our tenants, we have two key recommendations for Government. These are:
- Enable tenants to request that the housing element of Universal Credit be paid directly to their landlord if that is what they want
- Provide additional face to face support as part of a triage process to help residents transition to the new system before they are moved on to Universal Credit."
* Based on the then Minister for Welfare Reforms urgent review into Universal Credit and rent arrears in July 2016.