Policy in Practice Director, Deven Ghelani, appeared on Sky News discussing reaction to welfare reform and the introduction of the system whereby housing benefit payments will no longer go directly to the landlord but instead will be paid into the tenant’s account.
He argued that if you give people responsibility, they will take it. Whilst some landlords might be concerned, there is a risk of infantilising benefit claimants by not giving them control over their own finances and that if there are issues around budgeting in the household, it is better to tackle them at the source.
He also made the point that for the small minority of claimants who might struggle to structure their finances, alternative payment arrangements are available.
Lord Freud in a letter to the Guardian argued that Universal Credit offers greater protection to landlords than the current Local Housing Allowance, and promotes independence. The Residential Landlords Associations also found that private landlords would stand by housing benefit tenants.
You can watch the interview below: