The UK Government must complete and publish a full assessment of the impact on renters of their decisions to freeze Local Housing Allowance and cut Universal Credit, which risk pushing many households into poverty, problem debt, and homelessness, according to a joint statement by: The Big Issue Ride Out Recession Alliance, Crisis, The Mortgage Works, Nationwide Building Society, the National Residential Landlords Association, Propertymark, StepChange Debt Charity and Shelter.
The statement also read: ‘In the wake of the pandemic, we saw bold and swift action from the Government to prevent a housing debt crisis including restoring Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of market rents and increasing the Universal Credit Personal Allowance.
‘With the economic impact of the pandemic increasing the financial strain on families, across the country the number of private rented households in receipt of the housing element of Universal Credit increased by 107% between February 2020 and February 2021. Over 55% of these households have a shortfall between the housing support they receive and the rent they have to pay.’
It concluded: ‘We believe that the UK Government should reverse its decisions to cut Universal Credit and to freeze Local Housing Allowance. To apply policies like these without doing any meaningful impact assessment is, we argue, lacking the necessary foresight and consideration of the impact they will have on people’s security of tenure and well-being.’