Published: 29th Jan 2014

At the National Housing Federation’s Re-imagining Regeneration event last week the most powerful encounter occurred in a session called ‘regenerating communities in the face of welfare reform’. A representative from DWP’s social justice division presented the government’s welfare reform agenda, followed immediately by a chief executive of a housing association in one of the pathfinder universal credit areas, who described the impact of universal credit and other welfare reform measures on his residents and on his business. Rising arrears, homelessness, residents living on food parcels, sanctions, stopping of benefit payments, the list went on. He described the frustrations of clients and housing providers trying to get a response from DWP, and the lack of insight into the impact of its reforms on people’s lives. ‘I think Pollyanna works at DWP,’ he said. Wherever you stand on the benefits – or chaos – of the welfare reform agenda, the encounter was … (To read the full article, subscribe below)