-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

DWP pilot making managed payments to social landlords at same time as tenant receives their UC payment

20 December 2019

The DWP’s Change Director General, Neil Couling, has indicated to social landlords that changes to the Universal Credit (UC) rental payment system will be rolled out next year.

In a letter sent to social landlords, he said:

“… we have started a small-scale test with a small group of Social Landlords to align the way that we pay Managed Payments to Landlords with a claimant's Assessment Period.

This means you will receive the housing cost element at the same time as your tenant receives their Universal Credit payment.

As ever, we will develop and learn from you as we progress, but subject to a successful test we aim to roll this approach out to all Social Landlords on the Landlord Portal early in 2020.”

DRUK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Adviser Ken Butler said:

 “Housing Benefit is paid direct to a landlord but under UC the housing element is paid directly to the claimant.

It is difficult for some disabled people to arrange for payments to go to their landlord, resulting in rent arrears.  

Also, some private landlords refuse to rent to people in receipt of UC, indirectly discriminating against disabled people. 

While this DWP pilot is welcome, it should be extended to private sector landlords.

However, UC itself needs wider reform in order to make any rent payment change meaningful.

The five weeks wait for the first UC payment, being paid monthly and so needing to take out UC “advances” - in reality loans – result in claimants being unable to pay for food, fuel or rent.”