Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/942/25155

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 March 2017

Universal Credit is making the housing crisis worse

March for Homes, London, 31st January 2015, photo Paul Mattsson

March for Homes, London, 31st January 2015, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

David Fenwick-Finn, Manchester and Trafford Socialist Party

The roll-out of the 'Universal Credit' benefits system seems to be making an already desperate social housing situation a whole lot worse.

Figures from the housing organisation 24 Housing are shocking. 86% of all social housing tenants on Universal Credit are in rent arrears, compared to 31% of all social housing tenants. These numbers, from January 2017, are up from 79% in March 2016.

And 59% of Universal Credit claimants in social housing have arrears that amount to more than one month's rent. This is a result of sanctions, the 42-day gap between the initial claim and receiving money, and mistakes made in payments due to an unfit-for-purpose IT system.

As if this wasn't enough, the average amount of arrears across all households in social housing has risen from 321 in March 2016 to 615 in January this year.

To this toxic mix we can now add people in work who are presently in receipt of tax credits, but are to be switched to Universal Credit, in the process of the 'roll up' of all the various benefits into one.

One of the pilot schemes for this is, in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester. I'd recommend a brilliant blog by Charlotte Hughes called 'The Poorer Side of Life', which documents the weekly demo she and her helpers hold outside Ashton-under-Lyne Jobcentre.

So what's the situation in Greater Manchester? For a start, we have 80,000 across the ten boroughs waiting for social housing, according to the Housing the Powerhouse campaign.

It has proven difficult to obtain figures for evictions due to problems with Universal Credit. But anecdotally, talking to professionals in the homelessness service, a lot of the people they're seeing seem to have got into debt and arrears due to problems with Universal Credit.

Councils and social housing providers claim they are doing all they can, but it is becoming increasingly clear that this is wholly inadequate. There must be a lot more pressure, involving residents and workers, exerted on councils and the government. The only way things are going to change is through collective action.

The Greater Manchester 'Devo Manc' deal allocates 300 million for housing - but this can only go to private developers. What is needed is a massive public house-building programme. Nationally and regionally, this must be the central demand of any housing campaign.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 29 March 2017:


What we think

Unite against terror, racism and war


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS: protest, strike, occupy to win!

No to racist scapegoating: oppose the far right

Top banks post 67% of profits in tax havens - nationalise the banks!

Prescription and dental charges to rise again - fight for a free NHS!

Homelessness agencies accused of being complicit in coercive deportations

Leeds Labour councillors resign over cuts

Times makes call for Tory entryism

Martin McGuinness: from IRA leader to Stormont minister


Russian revolution 1917-2017

April 1917: how the Bolsheviks reorientated


Workplace news and analysis

Doncaster: snap strike by posties pushes bully bosses back

Over a thousand march with Durham TAs against 23% pay cut

Join the 31 March PCS pay protest

Bridgend Ford overtime stoppage in sourcing dispute

Forest Hill school in Lewisham fights back

Dispute against backdoor privatisation of mental health services

Ballot papers go out in Unite elections

Fujitsu strikes: Manchester and Warrington

Deliveroo victory in Leeds

TUSC backs RMT struggle against Merseyrail


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Universal Credit is making the housing crisis worse

Save Cardiff's live music venues

Women need secure jobs and equal pay, not patronising 'returnships'

Why I Joined: "I joined Socialist Party to campaign to save the NHS"

The Socialist Inbox


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

Belarus: movement developing against regime


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jobstown Not Guilty: defend the right to protest

Angry march against Bradford council-approved incinerator

GMB union should support anti-fracking campaigners in Fylde

"Save our Nurseries", Tower Hamlets campaigners tell the council

South Yorkshire Freedom Riders celebrate three years of fighting

Memorial meeting remembers Bernard Roome

Save Plymouth's libraries!

May Day greetings in the Socialist


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 March 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Housing:

triangleManchester housing maintenance dispute steps up action

triangleAnger and grief on moving Grenfell marches

triangleJustice for Grenfell and safety for all

triangleWhole establishment exposed for role in Grenfell fire

triangleA comment on the horrific 'Tory carnage' in West London

Universal Credit:

triangleScrap the Tory 'rape clause' and all benefit attacks

triangleFight Tories' callous cuts pushing 200,000 more kids into poverty

Manchester:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleManchester housing workers' strike solid

triangleManchester socialists campaigning against war, racism, terrorism and austerity

Greater Manchester:

triangleGreater Manchester: patients are people not guinea pigs!

triangleManchester metro mayor: How will you fight cuts?

Benefits:

triangle"Austerity hurts and the only alternative is socialism"

Tenants:

triangleOne in three borrow for rent, Corbyn pledges housing revolution

Households:

triangleThem & Us

Claimants:

triangleBenefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

Homelessness:

triangleTUSC's programme for jobs and services

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

21/6/17

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

21/6/17

Socialist Party

"Austerity hurts and the only alternative is socialism"

16/6/17

Liverpool

1980s Liverpool Militants replaced tower blocks with streets

15/6/17

Grenfell Tower

A comment on the horrific 'Tory carnage' in West London

14/6/17

Militant

From Militant to the Socialist Party

13/6/17

LGBT

Fight Tory and DUP anti-LGBT+ bigotry

31/5/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

31/5/17

LGBT

Corbyn's policies could help fight unhappiness for LGBT+ people

31/5/17

Socialist Party

Why I joined: "To fight for an end to tuition fees and cuts"

24/5/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

24/5/17

Marx

Capitalist journal's warning to the bosses: Marx was right, watch out!

24/5/17

Film

Gentrification, class and race in Brixton film

24/5/17

Socialist Party

'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

17/5/17

Spanish revolution

Barcelona May Days 1937 - a civil war within a civil war

17/5/17

The Socialist

The Socialist inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle21 Jun Justice for Grenfell and safety for all

triangle21 Jun Cabin crew calls two-week walkout over blacklisting accusations

triangle21 Jun Anger and grief on moving Grenfell marches

triangle21 Jun The Queen's Speech; and defending the right to protest

triangle20 Jun Whole establishment exposed for role in Grenfell fire

triangle20 Jun Tories and May stagger on amid crisis - get them out!

triangle19 Jun Finsbury Park attack: No to terror, racism, war and austerity!

More ...

triangle24 Jun Tamil Solidarity Day

triangle25 Jun East Midlands Socialist Party: Rebellion - Then and Now

triangle1 Jul London: Tories Out national demonstration

triangle3 Jul West Cheshire Socialist Party: Prepare for the next steps towards JC4PM

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice