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Scottish Government issues guidance on Universal Credit flexibilities

Available from SFHA and Scottish Government websites. 

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The Scottish Government has issued two leaflets on the Scottish flexibilities for Universal Credit – the capacity for the individual to request to have housing cost payments paid directly to landlords and the capacity to have more frequent payments – twice monthly rather than monthly. 

The leaflets – a detailed external brief and a leaflet for Universal Credit claimants – can be downloaded from the SFHA website and will be available from the Scottish Government website.

SFHA Policy Advisor Jeremy Hewer gave the leaflets a qualified welcome. He said:

“The Scottish Government flexibilities are a step forward – but they do have limitations. There is still going an initial six-week wait for individuals and a first payment before they can request the flexibilities. 

“In the case of direct payment to landlords, this means that the individual will need to pay the landlord themselves up to two months’ rent before the flexibilities kick in. The main worry is getting feedback from the DWP about payments and knowing what payments have been made, which, to date in respect of Alternative Payment Arrangements – Managed Payments to Landlords – has fallen short of housing association requirements.