Building of new homes in Wales could be impacted by universal credit

Building of new homes in Wales could be impacted by universal credit

Housing associations in Wales could have their building plans hampered by rent arrears caused by delays in tenants receiving their universal credit on times according to Coastal Housing.

The company have said that around 131 of their tenants in Swansea, Wales claim universal credit, and have seen arrears totalling £80,372, which in turn could have an impact on long-term building plans.

However, Community Housing Cymru have claimed that the number of new affordable homes have risen.

A DWP spokesman was also on hand to say that they have already “made improvements to advances.”

Swansea are the latest to switch over in relation to Wales’ roll out of universal credit, which continues all the time, and switched over on the 13th December.

The head of welfare reform at Coastal Housing, Paul Langley, claimed that the minimum six-week wait for universal credit payments is having a serious impact for both tenants and landlords, which in turn means that developing more properties could be at risk.

“People are waiting six weeks, sometimes longer, before they receive their first payment,” Langley said. “That’s obviously causing them financial problems, including for us, problems paying their rent and falling further behind.

“Across our tenants who are currently on universal credit, they’re four times greater in rent arrears than those who we would normally expect to see through paying their rent themselves or through the housing benefit system, so there’s a significant impact there for the tenant and ourselves.

“Ultimately if we have large-scale rent arrears then our ability to build more homes and to develop more properties for the next generation [is at risk].

“There’s great need for social housing, there are people on the waiting list across the whole of Wales and, for the entire housing sector, it’s a worry if we have great rent arrears.”

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