More than 100,000 low-income renters on Universal Credit in England will be at least two months behind on their rent after the £20 cut next week, says homelessness charity Crisis.
Following the end of the eviction ban, Crisis has warned that a further drop in income – the equivalent of £1,040 over a year – could lead to a surge in homelessness for thousands of people unless the plan is reversed.
It says the cut will hit struggling households amid rapidly soaring energy prices, a freeze on housing benefit which isn’t keeping up with rising rents in most parts of the country and the possibility of further redundancies in the wake of the government’s furlough scheme ending today.
Crisis chief executive Jon Sparkes (pictured, below) says: “We know that when people have somewhere stable to live, they are in a better position to find work, build their careers and contribute to the economy as it re-opens.
“Taking this vital lifeline away risks undermining all of this.
“If we are truly serious about levelling up the country and rebuilding our economy so it works for everyone, then the UK government must change course and keep the £20 uplift so that people don’t needlessly lose their homes this winter and we have a fighting chance at recovery.”
Crisis used government data from the Household Resilience Study which shows that 100,000 households on Universal Credit in England were in two or more months of arrears during November-December 2020.
It says given that these households typically do not have any savings to draw on, it assumes household arrears will not have been resolved.
Read more about the Universal Credit £20 cut.