Social landlord arrears 3 times worse than planned for

Last week I posted that DWP has increased the estimate of the number of tenants affected by the overall benefit cap threefold from 56,000 in its final (sic) estimate of July 2012 to 171,000 by the end of the next financial year at March 2014.

Today we see a report in Inside Housing which says social landlords have massively increased their provision for bad debts (ie arrears) next year.

Yet these social landlord figures were decided and based upon the old DWP estimates of those to be capped by the OBC and so are a massive underestimate of arrears risk.

In summary the expected arrears social landlords will face next year are far higher and the provision for bad debt provision will need to be sharply revised upwards

It’s also time for social landlords to wake up and smell the coffee as I have been warning that the OBC is the biggest welfare reform danger to social housing and far worse than the bedroom tax which is still erroneously getting all the attention.

As I said last week:

For social landlords who thought that only 25,760 social tenants would be hit (46% of the 56000) it is now 53,460 tenants (by September 13) – more than double and rising by 4217 per month to make over 78,500 by March 2014 – or triple the estimate of just 3 months ago.

3 times the number of social tenants will be hit next year by the OBC than the DWP said just 3 months ago! 


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