Helping our tenants tackle Universal Credit issues

Raven’s financial support team have successfully helped a tenant avoid eviction and manage her money more efficiently.

Tope is our Universal Credit Officer who specialises in supporting residents having difficulties with this benefit, which covers housing costs.

Tope explained that tenant ‘Mrs Z’ had been claiming Universal Credit since early 2019 but had run up rent debts of around £7,000 due to an error by the government’s Department of Work and Pensions.

Further complications and an appeal added to delays, resulting in an eviction notice being served on her and her family.

“The household were at the risk of losing their home for no fault of their own and this obviously caused them great distress,” Tope said.

"However, we stepped in to help and did not give up, even during the busy COVID-19 crisis, and kept intervening into this case, doing our best to support where we could.”

Finally, the breakthrough came in July 2020 when the Department of Work and Pensions admitted their error and the appeal was won outright. 

The department backdated Mrs Z’s Universal Credit underpayments and she was paid just under £9,000. 

“As a result of Raven’s intervention and Mrs Z’s responsible attitude towards paying her debt, her rent arrears which was approx. £7,000, has now reduced to approximately £150. She has avoided court action leading to eviction and has more money to live on.

“Her family are delighted with the help they have received.”