The first-ever Welsh research report into the impact of Universal Credit (UC) from the tenants’ perspective has been launched at the Senedd.
Cardiff Metropolitan University, commissioned by Community Housing Cymru, has undertaken the research and worked with tenants by enabling them to design the research question and undertake the research, using focus groups of their peers.
The independent research, funded by the Oak Foundation, explores tenants’ experiences of UC, barriers to engaging with their landlord and solutions to overcome these barriers.
The findings provide a snapshot of how tenants around Wales are dealing with welfare changes. One of the report findings showed that the UK average for rent arrears is £131 - this more than trebles in Wales to £450 under Universal Credit, which emphasises the importance of this piece of research.
Paul Langley, Head of Business Development for CHC’s Your Benefits are Changing project, welcomed the report’s findings. He said: “This report is the first of its kind about the impact of Universal Credit (UC) from tenants’ perspectives, uniquely undertaken by tenants themselves.
Cardiff School of Health Sciences’ Amanda Protheroe and Jane Mudd, the report’s authors, said:
“Our hope is that this report reflects the experiences of tenants who are dealing with the issues around Universal Credit. Tenants were clear about issues and barriers to their communicating with both the DWP and their landlords but were most keen to discuss solutions.
"The overarching message was around the quality of relationships tenants had with these organisations with kindness being mentioned as something the tenants really valued.”
For further information and an electronic copy of the report in Welsh or English, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @Housing _studies