Peterborough landlords “too cautious” renting to people on housing benefit

Jobs and employment news from the Peterborough Telegraph - www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
Jobs and employment news from the Peterborough Telegraph - www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
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Universal Credit will be fully rolled out in Peterborough in 2017.

The controversial benefits system, which has been blamed by the city council for helping to drive up unemployment, started in Peterborough in December 2015, but only for new single jobseekers.

UC sees six benefits rolled into one payment but has been criticised for paying housing benefit directly to tenants instead of landlords.

Landlords told the Peterborough Telegraph that this made them not want to take on recipients of housing benefit.

But Julia Nix, East Anglia District Manager at Jobcentre Plus, said: “The majority of our customers are managing their bills and keep themselves in rented accommodation.

“Landlords are being overly cautious. The whole ethos of Universal Credit is making individuals independent and responsible, whether they are in work or not.

“We are replicating the world of work and making sure customers are more in control of their finances, whether they are in or out of work.”

Under UC, payments are made every month. This will lead to a “smooth transition” when claimants move from out of work to in work, it was added.

The transition of benefit claimants in Peterborough onto UC will be completed by 2021.

At the start of November there were 1,020 UC claimants in the city.

Under the new system, which rolls Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit into one payment, UC payments decrease as an individual’s salary rises.