Universal Credit is likely to end direct payments to landlords as tenants receive their housing support as part of a single Universal Credit payment from the DWP.
Though the National Housing Federation (NHF) are seeking concessions, a recent Universal Credit Policy Briefing Note on payments suggests that the DWP were likely to take a strong line on direct payments to landlords. The note states that the UC “should mimic work and receipt of a salary” and “the Government wishes to place responsibility for household budgeting with the household.”
There is a case to be made for direct payments to landlords in extreme cases, however in the majority of cases the state will want to encourage benefit claimants to learn the behaviours that they will need to move into work successfully, this includes financial management and paying their rent. Housing associations may suddenly find that their responsibilities grow to having to help their tenants manage their finances more responsibly and tackle the root causes of their inability to pay their rent on time.