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:

triangleCorbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

triangleNo more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

triangleStrike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

triangleHousing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots

triangleAnger over plan to build housing on Yorkshire flood plain

Universal Credit:

triangleCarlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit

triangleChild poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now

triangleUniversal Credit chaos: Tories punish the poor

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Manchester:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: The Kurds and the PKK

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Reports from the Socialism 2017 weekend

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Racism in the US - Who are the Alt-Right?

Greater Manchester:

triangleYoung Socialists launched in Greater Manchester

triangleGreater Manchester: patients are people not guinea pigs!

Benefits:

triangleBosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!

Tenants:

triangleTories u-turn on social housing benefit cap and borrowing to build

Households:

triangleWe're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

Claimants:

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

Homelessness:

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

15/11/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

15/11/17

Abortion

TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

15/11/17

Vietnam war

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

8/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

8/11/17

Obituary

Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017

8/11/17

Theatre

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

1/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Fidel Castro

New musical on life of Castro

25/10/17

Film

Film - Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast

25/10/17

Russian revolution

Well-deserved ridicule of Stalinism is impressive, funny but flawed

18/10/17

Port Talbot

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

18/10/17

Russian revolution

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

11/10/17

Theresa May

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

11/10/17

Docks

Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


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

triangle15 Nov March for free education! We demand a future!

triangle15 Nov Tories on the brink - kick them out!

Socialism 2017

triangle14 Nov Socialism 2017: Organising to fight back

triangle13 Nov Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

triangle10 Nov US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

triangle10 Nov Strikers picket the South Western Railway network

triangle10 Nov Europe in crisis, revolutionary winds in Catalonia

More ...

triangle20 Nov Birmingham Central Socialist Party: How can socialists support upcoming strikes?

triangle21 Nov Bristol North Socialist Party: Venezuela - the battle to be faced by a Corbyn government?

triangle21 Nov Cardiff Socialist Students: Socialism and the struggle for LGBT rights

triangle21 Nov Birmingham South East Socialist Party: NHS in Meltdown - What can be done?

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

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

V2