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IN SALFORD 79% OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT TENANTS IN RENT ARREARS
 

Star date: 10th May 2018

79% OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT HOUSING TENANTS IN ARREARS

Figures released in a new report to be seen by Salford councillors next week show that 79% of housing tenants claiming Universal Credit are in arrears averaging 689. This compares with 33.6% of tenants not claiming Universal Credit in arrears with average balance of 414.

Campaigners have labelled the new benefit 'Universal Catastrophe'...while housing company City West is also trying to deal with homelessness, benefit caps and more.

Full details here...


Next week, Salford councillors will be presented with a new report by City West Housing on its latest activities. Within this report are figures for the whole of Salford showing that in the city 79% of tenants claiming Universal Credit are in arrears, with an average balance of 689.

This compares to 33.6% of tenants not claiming Universal Credit who are in arrears with an average balance of 414....And this is before the full Universal Credit roll out in October.

City West states in the report that "Our approach is to work in partnership with customers and others to reduce the overall adverse impact of Welfare Reform on customers and the organisation through effective: Preventative action and Advice and Support..."

The social housing company adds that it also will "Challenge in appropriate cases... for customers who do not engage to find solutions to their financial problems".

City West currently has 942 tenants claiming Universal Credit and notes that, via its two dedicated support officers, "the overall collection rate for these customers for 17/18 is 99.56%, which is 0.59% better than last year".

The company operates a Managed Payment system from the DWP where a Rent Direct payment from the department for arrears deducts between 70 and 100 per month, compared to around 15 a month if the tenant pays themselves. The company applies to the DWP for a Managed Payment for those who are falling behind with their rent or for arrears.

Meanwhile, the benefit cap brought in by the Tory Government has affected 79 City West households with combined arrears of 23,595, or an average of 298 per household.

These households have lost on average 40 per week in benefits and the company states that "each household's rent account could have potentially increased by 2,400. However, with our dedicated resource to support these customers the average increases in arrears per household is only 231..."

On homelessness, City West states that it has committed twenty properties to support the Social Impact Bond (SIB), which offers rough sleepers accommodation and support to maintain tenancies. The company is part of a Greater Manchester wide group of housing providers trying to set up a GM wide social lettings agency to help end homelessness.

In the report, the company lists current schemes to build 188 properties including 'key worker' flats and houses at Radclyffe Park, Ordsall; apartments for the LGBT community in Great Clowes Street, Broughton; flats at Barton Lane, Eccles; at Corporation Road, Eccles; and at Tyne Court, Walkden. None are for social rent but most are for the more expensive 'affordable rent', which is generally 80% of market rates.

The Salford Star has previously asked Salix Homes to provide similar information on benefit issues related to its tenants but the company declined.


wrote
at 07:17:48 on 11 May 2018
I'm so tired of this shit! I'm dreading this coming in, I'm already in the wrong ESA group which I can't get out of without the stress making my illnesses worse. Words fail me, I can't add anymore!

kenny wrote
at 15:46:16 on 10 May 2018
First City West need to get real with their rents. The first year they took over rents went up by over six pounds per week and just escalated from there onwards. Many people who are having trouble paying rent can still have it paid direct to landlord if causing hardship and difficulty. Ask local Council office for details.

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