The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has named the next 12 Councils in the North West where the scheme will be implemented. Housing Benefit expert Bill Irvine is pleased to see the scheme progress and thinks some areas targeted will be ideal for continuing roll-out.
DWP issued a press release, dated 29th April, in which it sets out, in some detail, how it proposes to roll-out Universal Credit to a range of councils and jobcentres in the North West of England. Full details can be found here.
Probably the most significant information relates to the additional 12 council areas, that could be affected, some as early as June this year. It was no secret DWP was speaking to councils but what is surprising, looking at the statement, is how little time there is between the announcement and the start of implementation; a matter of only a few weeks. It is still unknown exactly how this will be handled, but if you’re an RSL operating in any of these council areas, concerned about the affect this might have on your tenants, you really need to start seeking clarification from the councils and DWP ASAP. Adopting a hands-on approach will be key to safeguarding your tenants.
The 12 local authorities identified are:
- Salford City Council
- Wirral Borough Council
- Preston City Council
- St Helens Borough Council
- Cheshire East Council
- Cheshire West and Chester Council
- Trafford Borough Council
- Bolton Borough Council
- Bury Borough Council
- South Ribble Borough Council
- Sefton Borough Council
- Knowsley Borough Council
The DWP state these LAs will be at the forefront of the “next steps” expansion, whilst it still continues to work closely with the initial Pathfinders including:
Trainer and consultant Bill Irvine has alerted the RLA to these next steps and predicts that the roll out will be restricted to single people because the IT systems are still not ready. The IT system has been blamed before for the delay in roll-out of Universal Credit elsewhere: Universal Credit – Slower than planned
Bill Irvine runs the RLA Universal Credit training, sign up for the chance to get first hand information on requirements and roll out.