More than 700,000 families do not receive enough money from universal credit each month to cover their rent, according to new Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures.
Statistics show more than 1.2 million families are in receipt of local housing allowance (LHA) – which is paid as part of universal credit to help with housing costs – across England, Scotland and Wales but around 700,000 pay rent that exceeds support. On average, families in England find themselves a £100 short every month, a total slightly higher than in Scotland and Wales.
Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Karen Buck, released the statistics following a written parliamentary question and was told by government ministers that discretionary housing payments (DHPs) will “deal with the shortfall”. DHPs are payments available from councils to help with housing costs.
But the Westminster North MP shared the figures warning: “All this before the ban on evictions is due to be lifted shortly, and with the temporary £20 a week uplift to universal credit still due to end this summer.”
Here is the shortfall for households not required to seek work. Less than half of disabled Universal Credit claimants have their rent fully covered, with an average shortfall of £81 a month in England. pic.twitter.com/PQkrfm7sVr
— Karen Buck (@KarenPBuckMP) May 11, 2021
Overall, 630,000 households in England have seen their rent outstrip their local housing allowance alongside 34,000 in Scotland and 37,000 in Wales.