Today sees the release of the Northern Housing Consortium’s Impact of Universal Credit Round 3 report. This is the third in a series of four reports and builds upon the results of the first two, covering the period March-July (all three of which can be accessed from the NHC’s website here). The research investigates how the implementation and continuing rollout of Universal Credit is affecting housing organisations in the north.
We are now able to collect trend data and comparisons are made in this latest report with the findings of the previous reports. The latest report also draws comparisons between the full survey results with the returned data from North West respondents to ascertain whether having worked with the Universal Credit system longer has an effect on respondents’ experiences of the system. Some of the key findings from the Round 3 report are:
- More than one-fifth of respondents said that tenants had terminated their own tenancy as a direct as a direct result of UC.
- Almost all of the responding organisations are having to step in and assist tenants with the cost of living.
- Half of organisations have introduced credit reference checks to prospective tenants as a result of UC implementation – double the figure in Round 2.
- There is a move to debiting tenants’ rent accounts in arrears as 90.6% of those that debit accounts in advance have experienced problems.
We continue to use findings from the research to engage with the Department of Work and Pensions officials through NHC’s roundtable programme to raise members’ concerns and experiences of procedural issues and we will work with DWP to make the new system as smooth as possible.
The final round of the survey will be announced in the NHC eZine but there is also a dedicated contact list for anyone interested in taking part in the project. To ensure you are able to participate, please contact Business Intelligence Officer Barry Turnbull at firstname.lastname@example.org.