Alert Briefing: New Universal Credit statistics out show impact on private renters

By: Jenny Pennington, Charlie Trew and Stephanie Kleynhans  Published: November 2020


On Tuesday 10 November, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) released their new Universal Credit statistics. We have analysed these numbers to show how the Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted those renting privately. The new numbers show us that private renters have been hit hardest with a huge spike in those needing housing support – an increase of 36% since February. 

There has also been a rise in the proportion of private renters claiming housing support which will cause difficulties now and in the future. Local Housing Allowance (LHA), the housing benefit for those renting privately, only covers the cheapest 3 in 10 privately rented homes in each local rental market. However, as shown in this briefing, now more than 4 in 10 privately renting households are claiming LHA. There are just not enough affordable homes to go round.

An urgent review of housing benefit levels are required.


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