Seminar - Universal credit and paying for housing – challenging issues


Manchester – Wednesday 28 March
London – Thursday 29 March
Time: 12:00 - 16:30

The transition to universal credit transforms the system under which people on low incomes receive support from the state to pay their rent. Whilst social landlords have had some success in pushing for changes to both the rules of this system and also how the system is administered, many issues remain.

This seminar will focus on recent changes to the rules and also problem solving some of the particular issues that arise for tenants. As such it should be of interest to those advising tenants on low incomes, whether from a benefits or housing law point of view as well as those working in social housing and local authority benefits administration.

It will cover:

• New rules from April 2018 (two week ‘run-on’ of HB and temporary accommodation costs).

• The date from which housing costs can be paid (e.g. where not ‘claimed’ in the original claim because of misunderstandings that being met by HB or being paid direct to landlord).

• Absence from home rules (default 26 weeks temporary absence better then HB 13 weeks, but no 52 weeks absence rules other than domestic violence, so those in hospital for more than 6 months e.g. with mental health section, could lose their homes).

• 18-21 year olds.

• Practical and legal issues with discretionary housing payments where a claimant receives universal credit (including where full rent is met via the use of an alternative payment arrangement).

• Legality of “automatic” recovery of rent arrears via a 20% deduction of the standard element of universal credit.

• UC housing element where the claimant is liable for “use and occupation charges” only.

• Changes in circumstances rules creating winners and losers.

• Standards of decision making by UC on housing costs element and problems with transfers from HB to UC including delays and communication failures between DWP and LAs.

Relevant training materials and lunch will be provided and the seminar will carry 3 continuing professional development (CPD) hours.


Dan Norris is a welfare rights worker at CPAG. He has delivered welfare rights advice, representation and training for 15 years, with a number of organisations including St Mungo’s Broadway, SHP and Thamesreach.

Martin Williams is a welfare rights worker at CPAG. He is widely experienced in representing claimants at both levels within the tribunal system, having worked in the appeals team at Lasa. He is an author of CPAG’s Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit: the legislation.

Sarah Batty has been working in the welfare rights field for nearly 20 years, covering advice, training, tribunal representation and policy. She currently works in social housing in the North East and has worked previously for local authorities and third sector advice providers.


The Manchester seminar venue is Garden Court North Chambers, 3rd Floor, Blackfriars House, Parsonage, Manchester, M3 2JA

The London seminar venue is Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA

Booking a place

Please complete booking form here

Booking prices start from £111 for voluntary organisations and £153 for statutory and lawyers.

The seminar will carry 3 continuing professional development (CPD) hours.