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22 November 2017

CHC's response to UK Budget

Philip Hammond has today delivered his second Budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer. You can read the key points here and the Budget documents in full here.

Announcements include:

  • £1.5bn package to "address concerns" about the delivery of Universal Credit
  • Seven-day initial waiting period for processing of claims to be scrapped
  • Claimants to get one month's payment within five days of applying
  • Repayment period for advances to increase from six to 12 months.
  • New Universal Credit claimants in receipt of housing benefit to continue to receive it for two weeks

Aaron Hill, Assistant Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Community Housing Cymru, said: “The UK Governmet’s adaption of the Universal Credit policy is a positive step forward. We’re pleased to see that the Government has acknowledged and committed to resolve the design flaws in the policy; however, it doesn’t go far enough and further improvements can still be made.

We are calling for the rollout of Universal Credit to be paused so that more time can be taken to review the significant issues with the policy. We believe the waiting time should be decreased further to four weeks to ensure that people are not waiting longer than necessary. We would like to see payments being made to tenants as soon as their rent is verified, and we would also like to see tenants having the option to request that their housing support goes directly to landlords. We also want to see improved communication between DWP, claimants and landlords through the immediate rollout of the landlord portal and trusted partner status to all housing associations which would make a big difference to people across Wales.

We were also pleased to see £1.2bn of consequential for Welsh Government and we would like to see this used for large capital projects, including housing, to achieve the ambitions set out in our long-term vision for housing associations announced last week, including a commitment to build 75,000 homes by 2036."