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2021 ARCH/NFA Welfare Reform Survey 29/04/2021 Labelled as Consultation, Finance, Legislation, Tenants

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 support tenants.


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 tenants)
  • 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. Deadline extended to Friday 21 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,

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