Universal Credit – the Housing Costs Element

It can be difficult to get the Housing Costs Element correctly awarded in Universal Credit. This course addresses the issues that typically come up when we are helping people who rent from a private landlord or from a council or a housing association. 

Housing Costs Element: overview & eligibility / how the Housing Costs Element is worked out  

This course begins with the eligibility rules for the Housing Costs Element of UC and who can get it in respect of rent. It goes on to look at how the Housing Costs Element is worked out and how we can check amounts are calculated and paid correctly.  

By the end of this course participants will:

  • Understand which rent payments are eligible for universal credit housing costs element, including the liability and occupation rules. 
  • Understand how the housing costs element is calculated. 
  • Understand restrictions on housing costs and how amounts can be affected by non-dependants, the size criteria, the local housing allowance and service charges. 
  • Understand how changes such as rent increases and moving home affect UC.
  • Be able to check that universal credit awards are correct in respect of the housing costs element. 

Methods of delivery
This course is delivered online live with a BTC trainer. It is a practical course delivered using a combination of trainer presentation, exercises and case studies, group discussion and games. Participants will be provided with e-learning supporting material including PowerPoint slide handouts, a comprehensive training pack pdf and additional resources. There is a 20-30 minute break halfway through each part of the course.

Intended audience
This course is for participants working with people of working age who pay rent. A basic understanding of universal credit is assumed. If you are new to universal credit you should consider first attending our Universal Credit Overview course.  

Certificates & post course support
Participants will receive an e-certificate for completing both Parts 1&2 (6 hours) of any complete BTC course. This also guarantees eligibility to access our free 12 months post-course advice service (including priority entry to free webinars).

Course instructions
This online course is run over Zoom. In the week before the course, you will receive an email with Zoom link(s) and access the supporting materials. You will need to download (or print) the pack (and slides, if you wish) before each part of the course, unless you have selected a printed pack when booking.

Participants will need a good wifi connection and a suitable computer/laptop to access both the Zoom session and the pack throughout. You may wish to use a separate device for the pack (or split your screen) if you cannot or do not wish to print. We recommend participants log in a few minutes beforehand. You may also wish to have a pen and paper handy to make notes.