Keri McWilliams

Housing Survey - The Results

We recently surveyed a range of housing associations in the UK about possible challenges they face with Universal Credit. Here's the results...

Helping tenants claim Universal Credit online

Digital exclusion affects some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society - and millions are living in social housing.

There are 4.1 million adults living in social housing who are offline and those households are missing out on estimated savings of £560 per year

Universal Credit was launched in April 2013 to streamline household benefits for efficiency savings and to help claimants become better prepared for work - but with the significant amount of people offline, this programme is highly ambitious and presents challenges. 

We wanted to find out more about how this will affect both housing providers and tenants, so we surveyed a number of housing providers in the UK. 

From those surveyed, we discovered…

  • 84% agreed that Universal Credit poses a significant challenge to the future revenues of housing associations
  • 92% believe that insufficient digital skills will be a challenge to claiming universal credit online 
  • 46% believe that having no access to computers is the GREATEST challenge to claiming universal credit online
  • 78% agree that additional staff training will be required to help with the roll out of changes 
  • The two most popular actions being undertaken by housing associations to help residents claim Universal Credit are making sure staff are available to assist residents, and training residents with low digital skills
Do you agree with these findings? 

It’s clear that changes need to be made to ensure that problems arising from the rollout are kept to a minimum. Know your tenants, and know your staff. Anticipate residents needs and provide assistance throughout the process. For example - provide awareness of the scheme, set up computer suites to help residents online, and nominate a Universal Credit Champion within your own staff.

Small changes will make a huge difference to the lives of your residents, and ultimately your housing association. 

Thank you to all who took part. 


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