Responding to Shelter and the National Housing Federation’s (NHF) ‘End DSS discrimination’ campaign, Isobel Thomson, NALS CEO, said:
“The majority of lettings and management agents are professionals who are skilled at managing housing benefit and universal credit tenancies, dealing with applicants on a case by case basis. Many agents help prospective and existing tenants obtain access to the benefits they are entitled to.
“An assumption that there is widespread discrimination, particularly of women and disabled people on benefits is emotive conjecture and fails to paint an accurate picture of the sector. In some areas tenants on benefits form agents’ client base.
“Vilification of letting agents and landlords will not resolve housing problems where the provision of sufficient social housing is at the heart of the matter. The complexity of the benefits system and delays in payment add to the difficulties.
“Shouldn’t we be working together to come up with solutions which could solve the ills of the sector to ensure that no vulnerable tenants are left behind rather than castigating one section of it?”