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Universal credit is the biggest change to our welfare system in 40 years. By the time it has been fully rolled out in 2022 it will potentially affect 8 million people across the UK. The rollout so far has been controversial, and fraught with difficulties. Social housing organisations, in which only around 2.6% of tenants (pdf) are currently claiming universal credit, have been hit particularly hard by the speed and scale of the change.

In August 2017 the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) released a guide for landlords, in a bid to to explain what the changes will mean and how they can support their tenants. Unfortunately, it made little to no mention of how to deal with the slew of administrative issues, faults and delays, which have already caused hardship for so many claimants.

We conducted in-depth interviews with 10 landlords, most of whom have experienced the full implementation of universal credit. What’s becoming clear is that, while the overall experience of working with the DWP has been good, there is a disconnect between the experience of the people who are implementing universal credit, and the perception of the guidelines, as agreed by its decision makers.

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source: The Guardian
published: 25 September 2017

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