Report recommends extra support for residents moving to Universal Credit

Issued: 18/05/2016

A leading housing association is calling on the Government to commit to additional face to face support for residents before they are moved on to Universal Credit,  following a twelve month pilot project to help the sector prepare for the key welfare reform.

Circle Housing’s Housing Benefit 2 You (HB2U) project - which was designed to prototype how the housing cost element of Universal Credit will work - found that a specialist  assessment, also known as triage,  in advance of residents moving to direct payments could help them transition on to the new system.

The housing provider commissioned Sheffield Hallam University to compile a detailed analysis of the pilot.  HB2U - which started in June 2014 and included 349 residents in Broadlands, East Anglia - led to:

  • reduced levels of rent collection - rent receipts were 4.1 percentage points lower than from similar tenants who did not receive HB2U
  • ran increase in rent arrears, which went up to 2.5 per cent. This level was 2.1 percentage points more than for similar tenants not on HB2U
  • a significant increase in residents contacting the housing association to discuss their rent – this went up 114 per cent.

To read the rest of this story please see the Sheffield Hallam University Media Centre

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