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30 September, 2021 Open access

More than 100,000 renters on universal credit in England at risk of eviction by being two or more months behind with their rent

Crisis also warns that total number of households at risk is likely to be higher once planned cut to universal credit next week puts further financial pressure on claimants

More than 100,000 renters on universal credit are at risk of eviction for rent arrears in England.

New analysis of UK Government data on household resilience for November to December 2020, published today by Crisis, shows that the number of renters on universal credit that are at least two or more months behind on their rent is likely to now be higher than the government's 100,000 estimate for November to December 2021 -

'... given that these households typically do not have any savings to draw on, so it has assumed that household arrears have not been resolved, and The figure does not take account of households who were in arrears of shorter length or who have since entered rent arrears, meaning that this figure should be taken as a lower bound.'

In addition, Crisis warns that renters on universal credit who are already at risk of homelessness are facing additional pressures including losses of an average £87 per month as the planned cut to the universal credit 'uplift' starts next week, rising energy prices, a freeze on local housing allowance rates, and a reduction in notice periods to as low as just four weeks for those with four or more months of arrears.

NB - while temporary measures that extended notice periods during the pandemic have been gradually removed in England, and are expected to revert to their pre-pandemic levels from 1 October 2021, similar measures in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been extended by their respective administrations.

Chief Executive at Crisis Jon Sparkes said today -

'For many struggling renters this cut could be the final blow that forces them from their homes.

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.

The UK Government assured people they would not lose their home because of the crisis; we must not fail them now.’

For more information, see Over 100,000 renters on Universal Credit are at risk of eviction ahead of planned Government cut from crisis.org.uk