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SFHA Universal Credit survey: latest results for 2021

By Cassandra Dove, SFHA Research and Policy Lead.

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The most recent report from SFHA’s ongoing Universal Credit survey has now been published, providing an update on the effects of Universal Credit and the pandemic on members and their tenants. 

The results from the July to September period of 2021 indicate some improvements in relation to service delivery, with some members returning to near normal services, although it should be noted that this latest report covers the period prior to the emergence of the Omicron variant.

The Covid-19 pandemic, and more general cost of living increases, continue to impact tenants financially, with evidence of ongoing demand for welfare and debt advice. The withdrawal of the £20 Universal Credit uplift and the ending of the furlough scheme are particular areas of concern, and, while it is too early to quantify the impact of these changes on arrears levels at this stage, it is expected that many tenants will struggle financially over the winter months. Survey respondents also continue to highlight frustrations with the functionality of the Landlord Portal alongside poor communication with partnership managers.

Further details can be found in the full report which can be accessed via this link.

Participation in the survey has declined in recent months, so we are currently considering the future of the survey and exploring alternative options for engaging with members on this topic. An online focus group session has been scheduled for Tuesday 25 January, 14:00–15:30) to discuss this further. Any other SFHA members who would like to attend should contact me by emailing cdove@sfha.co.uk for more information.

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