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Universal Credit

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 33219, tabled on 14 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of removing the uplift to the universal credit standard allowance on rent arrears accrued by universal credit claimants.

Answered on

19 July 2021

No assessment has been made.

Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and we announced the temporary uplift as part of a £400 billion package of measures put in place that will last well beyond the end of the roadmap. Our focus now is on our multi-billion Plan for Jobs, which will support people in the long-term by helping them learn new skills and increase their hours or find new work.

For those entitled to Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit who face a shortfall in meeting their housing costs, Discretionary Housing Payments are available. They are flexible and can be considered where, in the local authority’s opinion, further financial assistance towards housing costs is required.

Local Housing Allowance rates for private renters on Universal Credit or Housing Benefit were increased to the 30th percentile of market rents last year, and have been maintained in cash terms in 2021/22.

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