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Research by the National Housing Federation (NHF) has found that four in five social housing tenants in receipt of Universal Credit struggle to pay for essentials, such as heating, clothes and Council Tax.  The NHF surveyed 3,520 tenants of eight housing associations in the Spring of this year.

The shortfalls which respondents faced were in part due to the five-week wait for the first Universal Credit payment.  84% of respondents reported borrowing money from friends and family, applying for loans including high interest borrowing and visiting food banks.  In addition, almost half of those surveyed said that the experience of claiming Universal Credit had caused a new physical or mental health condition or made an existing condition worse.

The NHF is calling on the Government to:

  • Not cut £20 a week from people claiming Universal Credit in October
  • End the five-week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit and
  • Increase funding for employment support and training to help people get back into work.