Kevan met with representatives from Karbon Homes to discuss the impact of Universal Credit (UC) on their tenants.

Karbon Homes highlighted some disturbing statistics that illustrate the impact of the rollout of Universal Credit on tenants in North Durham and how this is forcing a lot of people into rent arrears:

  • Karbon have 3,348 tenants on UC which is around 13%. This will increase to around 10,000 customers (40% of their tenants) once the full migration to UC has taken place
  • In North Durham, there are currently 1,112 tenants on UC, which is 14.6%
  • Average arrears for a UC tenant are £606, compared to £241 for non-UC tenants
  • It take approximately two years for the arrears to be repaid
  • 77% of Karbon tenants who are UC claimants are in arrears
  • 33% of Karbon tenants who are not UC claimants are in arrears
  • In recent research undertaken with tenants on UC, Karbon found that 53% were characterised as being destitute by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Definition

As a result of this, Kevan has today written to Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions to raise concerns about this and to ask for a meeting to discuss this further.

A copy of Kevan’s letter is below.

Karbon Homes have a team of Money and Benefit Advisors who can provide help and support. Further details are available on their website here.