Housing Justice has joined the ever growing number of charities and organisations calling for an immediate reform of the five week wait for benefits under the new Universal Credit system.

Housing Justice CEO Kathy Mohan said; “Through our network of more than 120 grassroots night shelter projects across the country we are seeing the effect of the sclerotic Universal Credit system on those experiencing homelessness, at times preventing people moving on with their lives in to settled accommodation. Housing Justice is supporting the #5WeeksTooLong campaign to ensure no one has to go without food, heating or a warm and secure home while they wait for welfare.”

The #5WeeksTooLong campaign, is spearheaded by the Trussell Trust. It is a response to the growing number of people being forced to use food banks to survive while they have to wait for payment after qualifying for Universal Credit benefits. For most it is a minimum of five weeks. For others it can be even longer.

Many might be facing homelessness, living with disabilities or health issues, struggling with debt or rent arrears, or escaping domestic abuse. Foodbanks and other charities are left picking up the pieces.

Housing Justice supports the position that this situation is unacceptable. We also believe that the government response that people can be given a loan is unacceptable, as this can plunge them even deeper into crisis. That is why we have added our voice to more than 13,000 people and more than 20 different organisations calling for reform. We believe the system should be keeping people afloat, not pulling them under.