Over 100,000 low-income renters in England on Universal Credit will be at least two or more months behind on their rent when the planned £20 cut comes next week, Crisis reports.
The homelessness charity analysed UK government data, with its findings raising fears that thousands will be at risk of being made homeless.
Crisis points out that the cut will see people on Universal Credit lose an average of £87 per month or the equivalent of £1,040 over a year. It fears it will hit struggling households amid rapidly soaring energy prices, a freeze on housing benefit that isn’t keeping up with rising rents in most parts of the country, and the possibility of further redundancies in the wake of the Government’s furlough scheme ending today.
The charity also says thousands are under incredible pressure to keep a roof over their head. With the eviction ban in England now over and notice periods as low as just four weeks for those with four or more months of arrears, Crisis is warning that a further drop in income could lead to a surge in homelessness unless the £20 cut is reversed.
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “For many struggling renters this cut could be the final blow that forces them from their homes.
“We know that when people have somewhere stable to live, they are in a better position to find work, build their careers and contribute to the economy as it re-opens. Taking this vital lifeline away risks undermining all of this.
“If we are truly serious about levelling up the country and rebuilding our economy so it works for everyone, then the UK Government must change course and keep the £20 uplift so that people don’t needlessly lose their homes this winter and we have a fighting chance at recovery.
“The UK Government assured people they would not lose their home because of the crisis; we must not fail them now.”