Universal Credit & Welfare Reform – the Latest Timetables
He also acknowledged the need to solve housing issues for people first, before asking them to work. Since 2010 we were told that nearly 935,000 people had been prevented from becoming homeless and he referred to the £40m programme to tackle homelessness of which £20m is given to Local Authorities to focus on prevention at an earlier stage.
Lord Freud noted that of course people paying their own housing costs was a big change and required scrutiny, monitoring and evaluation. The housing element of UC is a central part of this evaluation and behavioural effects so far indicated that claimants spent 50% more time looking for a job than under the old system.
Providing another stat he said that 77% of UC claimants were actively looking to increase their earnings compared to just 51% on job seekers allowance. There is also £870m committed to discretionary housing payments.
In conclusion, it appears that the reform continues to move forward albeit cautiously and with careful monitoring.