What does Labour’s pledge to ‘pause and review’ Universal Credit mean for housing costs?

28 April 2015

Following concerns that the introduction of Universal Credit could pose difficulties for social housing tenants and landlords, Labour have suggested that, if elected, they would review direct payments of housing costs to claimants. 

Universal Credit would combine a number of different benefits (including housing benefit) into one monthly payment, paid directly to the claimant. Research by The National Housing Federation has revealed that 98 per cent of housing associations and 92 per cent of tenants are concerned about the budgeting skills required to manage these monthly payments.

Inside housing report that whilst Labour have previously hinted that they would allow tenants to opt in to their housing costs being paid directly to their landlord, the party’s policy on this has since become ‘unclear’.

Rather than confirming any changes they would make to the payment of Universal Credit, Labour sources have told inside housing that they would: ‘look closely at this issue’, adding that ‘advice and support for claimants will be crucial’.

Universal Credit has currently been rolled out to 47,000 people, less than half of the 100,000 government target for May.