A GLASGOW tenants' union has launched a campaign to stop those struggling on Universal Credit from being evicted from their homes.

Members of Living Rent travelled to the offices of dozens of housing associations in the city, asking them to commit to no evictions stemming from debts caused by the benefit.

The union claims that Universal Credit is a failed system that disproportionately affects tenants and will lead to increasing rent arrears, evictions, destitution, and homelessness.

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The group targeted Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) offices on Cochrane Street, delivering a letter with their request, before visiting others in the city.

Living Rent member James Roberts said: “We’re asking GHA and other housing associations to join us in creating a partnership that opposes Universal Credit arrears and evictions, protects vulnerable tenants from further personal suffering, and defends communities from the devastation of poverty and homelessness that is exacerbated by Universal Credit.”

A Living Rent member and Universal Credit Claimant, who wish not to be named, added: “It’s caused me so much stress. I had to take an advance payment as I couldn’t wait 5 weeks for payment, but that ended up limiting me to £200 a month, which left me struggling all summer long.

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"I was really struggling to pay rent, bills, and eat. It’s a cycle of misery.”

The group are now hoping for responses from housing associations across the city backing their campaign.

GHA, whose bosses at the Wheatley Group have previously lobbied the UK Government on behalf of claimants, said they "wouldn’t evict people who are in arrears as a result of the design of Universal Credit".

Wheatley Director of Housing and Care Olga Clayton added: "We do absolutely everything we possibly can to support our tenants from the moment they start the move to Universal Credit, including helping them through the delay until they receive their first payment."

Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations' (GWSF) director David Bookbinder said: "GWSF shares Living Rent’s concerns about how unfair Universal Credit is, especially in terms of the long delay before money comes through.

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“However, arrears caused by this initial delay will never, on their own, lead to a housing association even seeking repossession, let alone being granted it by a court. Evictions are a last resort and normally involve thousands of pounds of arrears, usually accumulated through lack of engagement with the association over a long period.

“Universal Credit is a deeply flawed system, but no-one with £3,000 rent arrears will ever be able to blame that on UC alone, so a prohibition on ‘UC evictions’ would just mean other tenants covering the debts of a small minority of people failing to properly engage with their landlord.”