We are pleased to announce the launch of the 2021 Annual Survey
into Universal Credit and Welfare Reform.
This survey, conducted in partnership with our colleagues at the
National Federation of Almos (NFA) has run for the last six years,
and we last surveyed members in March 2020 when COVID-19 was
starting to hit. Anecdotally we have heard that despite the initial
steep rise in Universal Credit claimants during March-May 2020, the
sector seems to have largely managed the impact of COVID-19 on
tenants and income management.
This latest survey will give us the evidence across the country
on the impact of COVID-19, the challenges that organisations have
seen and what they need for the next year, but also the innovations
to income management which have allowed organisations to adapt and
The outcome of previous surveys have led to
discussions at Ministerial level in the Department for Work &
Pensions (DWP) and to ARCH's membership of the DWP Universal Credit
Social Landlords Strategic Group and as in previous years we will
use this information to make the case to Government for any
necessary changes to Universal Credit and welfare reform that are
needed and to argue for greater investment in council housing.
In this year's survey we ask questions on:
- Overall arrears and Universal Credit arrears
- The Benefit Cap (to assess the impact of COVID-19 on
- Under-occupancy Charge
- Discretionary Housing Payments and hardship funds
- Impact of COVID-19
- Employment and training initiatives (to support our
cross-sector calls for more support to housing providers that
deliver employment and training initiatives)
- Enforcement activity and any problems around this
- Best practice in income management
We have issued the
survey to contacts at each of our member councils and
would encourage all ARCH member councils to complete and return the
survey by Wednesday 5 May 2021.
If your council has not received the survey and/or you have any
questions of would like further information please contact ARCH
Policy Adviser Matthew Warburton: matthew.warburton@arch-housing,org.uk.