Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Rent Arrears Soar in Universal Credit Pilot Scheme.

with 47 comments

Image result for homeless uk

Rise in Homeless Numbers Threat from Universal Credit.

This morning the BBC news had a story about homeless people.

It covered the case, a happy case, of a man who’d been helped into accommodation.

The idea that getting somewhere to live is the first step to getting back on your feet is not, perhaps, original, but this may help many people in a desperate situation.

But as it is, and as the report noted, the number of rough sleepers has not stopped growing.

I only have to walk a few metres from the library in Ipswich to see those affected.

One reason?

The broadcaster did not fail to mention that people blamed the tough conditions imposed on Jobseekers, the Claimant Commitment, proof of looking for work, and all the rest that we know all too well.

Not always easy to fulfil for many people, they become extremely hard for anybody with the kind of problems associated with those on the streets.

If they could get JSA under any conditions.

With the menace of sanctions to deal with as well.

Now the threat of living without a roof over your head hovers over a whole new set of people, as the Scottish paper, the Herald reports.

You can guess where this one comes from.

Warning as rent arrears soar after Universal Credit pilot is rolled out in Scotland

A LEADING Scots housing body has warned that increasing numbers of people on benefits are at greater risk of homelessness as rent arrears soar under a controversial new benefits pilot scheme being rolled out across Scotland.

The Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland (CIH Scotland) has warned that the new Universal Credit to date has led to tenants finding it increasingly difficult to pay their rent.

And the organisation has also raised fears of a return to the old ‘No DSS’ culture that restricted access to the private rented sector for many benefit claimants during the 1980’s.

Welfare Reform Impact, a recent report published by the HouseMark consultancy group showed the average rent arrear debt of a Universal Credit claimant was £618 compared to average non-UC arrears of £131.

MPs have already launched an official inquiry into Universal Credit amid growing concerns that design flaws in the new benefits system are leaving thousands of low-income claimants facing eviction and reliant on food banks.

Holyrood’s Social Security Committee has already met with administrative staff and claimants in the Musselburgh pilot area and heard about unacceptable delays of eight or nine weeks in being paid benefits, pushing people into rent arrears. Committee members also heard local jobcentres are ill-equipped to effectively support claimants.

The single payment replaces six benefits – income support, jobseeker’s allowance, employment support allowance, housing benefit, child tax credit and working tax credit – and is paid directly to claimants.

I doubt if this has escaped our Newshounds either:

Landlords are more likely to accept potential renters who own pets than people claiming benefits, a BBC investigation has found.

Analysis of some 11,000 online listings for spare rooms found all but a few hundred stated benefit claimants were not welcome.

Campaign groups say it is “naked discrimination” and are calling for a change in the law.

Landlords say more social housing needs to be built.

The BBC England data unit analysed listings on the website SpareRoom, looking at London and 18 other towns and cities across England.

  • Out of 11,806 adverts for rooms to let, just 2% were open to people on benefits.
  • The website’s listings showed not a single vacancy for a benefit claimant in Bournemouth, Exeter, Leicester, Liverpool, Norwich, Oxford or Reading.
  • Plymouth had the highest rate of acceptance, but even that was just 10% of rooms, 15 out of 144.
  • Across the 19 areas with the most available rooms, there were twice as many lets that accepted pets as accepted housing benefit claimants.

It is a similar pattern on a letting agent website.

On OpenRent.co.uk, just 580 out of 3,342 listings accepted people on benefits.

The websites specify “No to DSS” in flatmate preferences. DSS is the acronym for the Department of Social Security, which was replaced in 2001 by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Important Update:


Written by Andrew Coates

March 13, 2017 at 12:19 pm

47 Responses

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    Its called an address. Now employers don’t ask for an address to send you mail in a climate of digital by default, they don’t ask for an address to be able to sort your wages weekly or monthly.

    Without a home address of where you live, no employer is going to hire you as it forms a profile of who you are as a person. Employers aren’t going to ask why your homeless, infact they wont even mention it other than to keep in mind they only have to give you an interview for 15 minutes longer than forget you ever existed as an applicant. Care of addresses don’t work, employers are far to wise to this shoddy practice by DWP and provider alike as if they don’t do research on applicants or have a company do it for them.

    As if they were never going to find out its a homeless hostel or homeless support centre.

    People who live on the street shouldn’t be set any conditions other than to find a home, address any problems they may have other than financial or relationship based ones and until they have secured one first never be expected to secure work prior as there just being set up to fail which is not only unfair, its cruel and deliberately engineered.


    March 13, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    • The DWP notion of homeless people sleeping in a shop doorway having to “satisfy a job-search requirement” is totally bonkers.

      It is not just the lack of an address. A home is essential to holding down a job, it is a necessary requirement, part of the machinery. We work to keep a home to enable us to work.

      Homeless and Hungry

      March 13, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    • Doug
      c/o Ipswich Jobcentre Plus
      St Felix House Silent
      Street Ipswich Suffolk
      United Kingdom IP1 1TF

      Nah, doesn’t work, does it 😀

      PO Box

      March 13, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      • c/o Ipswich winter night shelter
        Trinity Bungalow
        Back Hamlet
        Ipswich , IP3 8AJ


        March 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      • Bus given as night shelter for homeless in Ipswich

        28 January 2017

        A bus company has donated a vehicle to a charity to be converted into accommodation for homeless people.

        Stephensons of Essex has given the double decker to Bus Shelter Ipswich after hearing about the charity on BBC Radio Suffolk.

        Mark Sayer, from the bus company, said they were delighted to see it going to such a good home.
        The charity hopes to have the bus on the road as a night shelter for homeless people by March.


        Andrew Coates

        March 13, 2017 at 4:55 pm

  2. Universal Credit the Tory scums door to homelessness (don’t build homes for all, just throw out ‘in their eyes’ the ‘useless eaters’ on to the streets and there will be plenty of homes for the next ‘rung up the ladder’ peasants).


    March 13, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    • And the John Allen, the Tesco chairman’s comment although “meant as a joke” 😉 about “white men being an endangered species” and that it is a ” propitious time to be female and from an ethnic minority, preferably both” was spot on. We can see it all around us – not just in the boardroom.


      Kunta Kinke

      March 13, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    • Very true Homeless and Hungry and what i find very telling about DWP is you notice how they never mention having them sell the big issue. Cant you imagine the look on the public’s faces seeing that many venders on the streets.

      In regards to your comment Marie, your find the Tories aren’t into to much house building as it effects the price of existing houses not to mention if not controlled tap fashion would mean putting a serious dent in their housing bubble that’s propping up the countries GDP these last 6 years along with proceeds of crime and the deliberate meddling of how things are measured just so they can claim the UKs doing well.


      March 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    • “For a thousand years men have got most of these jobs, the pendulum has swung very significantly the other way now and will do for the foreseeable future I think.

      “If you are a white male – tough – you are an endangered species and you are going to have to work twice as hard.”

      Kunta Kinke

      March 13, 2017 at 3:45 pm

  3. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    March 13, 2017 at 3:06 pm

  4. doug

    March 14, 2017 at 8:21 am



    Don’t you just love an article with a big BUT in it where a grandiose statement is made only to be followed by
    “Everywhere else rental levels continued to rise”.

    After kicking thousand of people out of their homes and shipping them to the midlands and north is it any wonder London and the south east landlords are having to lower their rents in the hope of attract tenants.

    Now before any southerners think, great i can go home to where i was born, where my family and friends are, rent hasn’t dropped enough for housing benefit claimants, nor are landlords interested considering the abortion that is UC.

    I can only imagine that these landlords are hedging their bets that full time workers may consider relocation.

    Interestingly though they also report a rise in the number of people looking for homes to rent yet in the areas where rents have dropped the demand has fallen. Looking around even though rents have increased, a person is still better off financially not living in London or the south east.

    The sting in the tail is further down the road with more people not living in these areas with the desire to work closer to home so as to reduce cost and time spent that this could mean less workers for these areas meaning less kids and ergo a depletion of man power. With any industries being able to survive in these areas would mean they would have to raise their wages if they can just to attract people.

    A train from Salisbury to London will set a person back £6’100 for a year (5 months in SE or London) where as a yearly underground travel card costs around £3’500. Rent in Salisbury for a 3 bedroom house is around £202 where as a 3 bedroom flat in London can be anywhere up from £595 a week. I think the savings speak for themselves.


    March 14, 2017 at 9:56 am

  6. GCHQ warns politicians about Russian hacking threat or propaganda piece


    Now as your see when you read the article there’s still no hard evidence to back the claim Russia hacked the USA. Yet despite this glaring fact they still insist i quote.

    “But what we do have is plenty of evidence that the Russians are capable of doing that. And there is no doubt that they have been up to all sorts of dirty tricks.”

    Well so is China, us and other European states with may i add the recent release of vault 7 CIA data not denied by the USA intelligence authority detailing their part in the same dirty tricks. We all do it so its pretty dumb to make any such claim like it is to assume the CIA practice is somehow whiter than white, holier than thou.

    Propaganda, espionage, sabotage is as old as the species so lets not kid ourselves by accepting the post truths spoken from the mouths of liars as big as those they claim to be saving us from.


    March 14, 2017 at 10:29 am

    • OT: Social Media regulation or lack thereof

      This just shows exactly what Mark ‘Users are my Bit$%^s – Facebook” Zuckerberg thinks of regulations to protect users…

      Facebook system ‘not working’

      A senior Facebook executive has told MPs that a BBC investigation into failures in its content moderation process showed the company’s system “was not working”


      Using Facebook’s own reporting system, BBC News had reported 100 images and posts, featuring sexualised images and comments about of children. 82 were not removed because according to the company they did not “breach community standards”.

      Facebook asked the BBC team for examples of the content that wasn’t removed – when that was provided Facebook reported the BBC to the police.

      Mr Milner said the company believed one of those images was illegal and as a result they were “clearly under an obligation to let the authorities know about that”.

      He also told the committee “the journalist had indeed identified something where our system was not working”.

      ME: So, you report stuff then you get shopped to the boys in blue in an attempt to deflect their own failures…


      March 14, 2017 at 4:12 pm

  7. Andrew Coates

    March 14, 2017 at 6:04 pm

  8. DWP ‘tells disability benefits assessors to discriminate against people with mental health conditions’


    Somehow it can be thought the DWP themselves are making people unemployable.


    March 14, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    • my cv is still blank after 15 years, providers need the cash to keep rolling in remember 😉


      March 14, 2017 at 10:21 pm

  9. OT: Witch May and NI

    U-turn over Budget plan to increase National Insurance

    ME: Well I never, politics catches up with reality…
    and there was Witch May lauding the increase to the rafters as being justified as fair’, you a politician know promise something in writing and then go and break it – I’m shocked, shocked I tell you
    as I said before how long can she last?


    March 15, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    • Pathetic really,

      “The Treasury drops NICs increase for self-employed in major U-turn – Politics live”


      Andrew Coates

      March 15, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      • I think it is best when a government make a howling mistake, breaks it’s word, and gets things wrong to admit it and think again rather than steam ahead towards an iceberg and disaster. What a pity that the powers that be are still ahead full with the awful, absolutely bloody awful and dreadful Universal Credit without a pause or changes. A U-turn triggered within a week because some self-employed people might lose a few hundred pounds per annum but no rethink about Universal Credit which is set to strip the poorest citizens in the country of thousands of pounds every year.

        The Sheriff of Nottingham lives once more!

        (Where the hell is Robin Hood when you need him?)


        March 15, 2017 at 6:40 pm

  10. Its a sign of weak leadership with no real stamina policy or direction.Once the red line is crossed in public hysteria then there’s an about turn.It gave the impression that the government were acting like pickpockets in the media. There’s a lot of waste and inefficiency out there however the subject is a hot potato politically on the wrong side of that line.


    March 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    • ken


      Witch May upset that the Scots want to exit stage left and loudly proclaims – “No you can’t”.
      Okay. Lets se how this pkays out – what is the bet that has not got a lot of Scots back up – her telling them no.
      Witch May: So retract NI increase – make sure no mention of it breaking election pledge.
      i know, i’ll throw some petrol on the SNP fire to distract everyone, I wonder what will happen…


      March 15, 2017 at 6:51 pm

      • Scotland Declares Unilateral Declaration Of Independence and forms the Celtic Alliance with Ireland

        Robert The Bruce

        March 17, 2017 at 2:26 pm


    1: Claimant count
    2: Comparison between unemployment and claimant count
    3: Main out of work benefits not seasonally adjusted.


    March 15, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    • doug

      noted and interesting…


      March 15, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    • Just incase it does not surface as low an behold it held back for moderation.

      I have and rising 5 articles of areas of the UK reporting a rise in out of work benefit claimants.


      March 16, 2017 at 9:04 am

  12. Identity fraud reached record levels in 2016


    Hmmm,what was i going to say. It was on the tip of my tongue, oh im sure it will come to me.


    March 15, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    • doug

      i am sure it will come to you after you log into UJM, Facebook…


      March 15, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      • Gazza

        Oh that’s it. “if you have nothing to hide,you have nothing to lose”.


        March 16, 2017 at 8:12 am

      • Facebook only has users who have accounts with it and data about them which they have submitted as collateral in respect to the company’s worth. When the company was floated on the stock market its shares collectively were values at $104 BILLION! Share value has risen significantly since then. Kind of shows how personal information, about millions and millions of people, which they themselves have volunteered, can be worth a lot of money once collected and collated doesn’t it?


        March 16, 2017 at 9:44 am

    • Time the public tell governments and businesses what and how to process personal data.


      Ive said more than a enough that security is a myth, that attacks are often not specific to an individual but more so an indiscriminate theft and or abuse to as many as can be netted yet governments,businesses continue to put us at risk.

      Ive advised many a time on security the public to help reduce their personal losses but surely now your should all feel proactive enough to say enough is enough and force our governments to change data laws to increase our control over governments themselves and businesses who seek to process our data.


      March 16, 2017 at 8:51 am

  13. Conservative Party fined £70,000 over election expenses


    Amazing how every time the conservative party/government get caught out being crooked, it was as a result of an error. Further more to distance themselves from their obvious guilt, bring up other political parties.

    Anyone see that tory MP (Thames Ditton) lie and twist about this scandal and the NIC uturn and have the cheeks to talk about their parties credibility.

    This is even while under Cameron the worst stroke worst conservative party ever, which upstaging Thatcher is really saying something.

    When are the public going to see politicians for what they really are.


    March 16, 2017 at 8:29 am

    • No jail? They blame it on human error (subhuman in their case).

      Would a bank robber get away with the same excuse?


      March 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm

  14. Tory welfare chief says disability benefit appeals are ‘extremely low’ – on day they hit record high


    The Tories just cant stop lying can they.


    March 16, 2017 at 8:54 am

    • It’s a bit like the DWP claiming that the number of benefit claimants “sanctioned” is “low” or “small” when in fact it is in the millions and includes severe punishments doled out to many sick and disabled people.


      March 16, 2017 at 9:47 am

  15. Child poverty in UK at highest level since 2010, official figures show.

    About 30% of Britain’s children are now classified as poor, of whom two-thirds are from working families.

    The upward trend in child poverty in the UK has continued for the third year running, with the percentage of children classed as poor at its highest level since the start of the decade, latest official figures show.

    About 100,000 children fell into relative poverty in 2015-16, a year on year increase of 1%, according to household data published by the government on Thursday. About 4 million, or around 30%, are now classed as poor.

    The latest annual rise was relatively modest, but analysts said planned cuts to working-age benefits were likely to dramatically increase poverty rates over the next three years.


    Andrew Coates

    March 16, 2017 at 4:49 pm



    March 16, 2017 at 5:42 pm

  17. The country is going backwards.Anyone caught on benefits and increasingly those on low pay are going to feel the mounting pressure of the costs of daily life with increased inflation with mounting uncertainty.

    Most worrying of all is that the government seems to be in a state of denial. Last week’s Budget failed to mention poverty even once


    Exorbitant Council tax bills are now arriving on peoples doormats now leaving those out of work having to pay even though with a reduction.Large amounts demanded even though the local economy is performing poorly where often an unemployment problem exists also.Local councils seek the security of income while services are decimated.

    Penalising the poor isn’t going to make any difference.It doesn’t address a skills shortage or tackle the issues of long term unemployment and getting back to work barriers nor is any six week programme offered by the Skills Funding Agency.The idea of starving people back to work making life even harder with draconian measures only demonstrates the governments ability to come up with ideas that are never going to solve anything just reinforce the situation.People have been just swept aside hoping they will simply disappear.


    March 16, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    • The Tories aren’t even a proper government(for the people and not themselves),they’re a diabolical bunch of shameless traitors who have sold their souls to the khazarian mafia,and in exchange for power and vast wealth they carry out the wicked policies for their evil masters!


      March 16, 2017 at 7:02 pm

  18. Universal credit claimants are being forced to turn to pay day lenders and loan sharks by delays in payments, peers have warned.

    Labour and the Liberal Democrats urged ministers at Lords question time to drop a seven-day waiting rule for new claimants.

    But Work and Pensions minister Lord Henley defended the current rules, saying claimants could apply for advance payments if they were in need.


    Universal Credit update inquiry

    The Committee has re-launched the Universal Credit inquiry and is now accepting written submissions. Deadline is Monday 20 March 2017.



    March 17, 2017 at 5:10 am

  19. Those of you that know Ipswich. If you can take an early morning stroll. Walk from the newsagents on majors corner up as far as the thorough fare and in the thorough fare too. This morning 17 march I counted 7 rough sleepers’, before 8am. BTW. 3 have pitched up by the old Iceland store and the nearby underpass.


    March 17, 2017 at 7:49 am

    • Very true.

      It is really striking here just how many rough sleepers there are in the centre, and apparently there are more around the Cardinal Park area.

      There are also people who are, I assume, in other places round town.

      Andrew Coates

      March 17, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      • Heard earlier today that the FOYER in ipswich is closing soon. Funding pulled out from under them


        March 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm

  20. OT: Energy Company gets it wrong and sends in the Bailiffs

    ‘Cruel’ firm sends bailiffs to wrong house over £4k debt

    A couple have labelled an energy company “cruel” after it sent bailiffs to their home for unpaid £4,300 bills that were not meant for them.

    ME: Oh and its Scottish Power, you know the firm that was fined £18mil on 26Apr16 as its complaints department was so Crap….
    I’d contact the Information Comm and complain, at £250 per day for an investigation I am sure Scottish Power would enjoy that… Not.


    March 17, 2017 at 8:56 am

    • Another reason for those smart meters they can be remotely controlled and set to prepayment.no need for warrants or break ins and debts simply added.Most people don’t attend a court session and warrants are granted automatically and the debt taken on information given.


      March 17, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      • The power companies can still do that with a non-smart prepayment meter. The debt gets added on when the key/card is topped up.

        Talexus Actaris

        March 17, 2017 at 11:34 pm

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