The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has called for the government to publish an impact assessment, on their decision to freeze local housing allowance and cut the temporary £20-a-week rise to universal credit.
Benefits coming to an end
These benefits, introduced during the pandemic, are due to end next month, in September.
The NRLA has joined with a range of other organisations, who are arguing that the removal of them will affect “people’s security of tenure and well-being and for many will threaten their chance of recovery”.
Organisations such as Nationwide, the Mortgage Works, Crisis, the Big Issue, the NRLA and StepChange have come together to urge the government to reverse their decision in this joint statement.
The statement highlights:
“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.”
“The UK Government has confirmed that where such shortfalls exist, the median amount is £100 a month.
“This points to a need for continued support for families and individuals to cover the cost of rents.
“Yet since April this year, local housing allowance has been frozen in cash terms, and later this year, universal credit will be cut by £20 a week.”
‘Bold and swift action’
The statement goes on to praise the “bold and swift action” during the pandemic to prevent a housing crisis.
This collective of organisations from a range of perspectives within the PRS believes that to remove these policies, without a meaningful impact assessment, is “lacking the necessary foresight and consideration”.
Ultimately, they are calling for confirmation that tenants and landlords alike won’t be left without support next month, when this benefit uplift is removed.