Universal Credit claimers are losing their homes before their applications are processed, a UK poverty charity has claimed.
The six-week wait for the Government-backed support payments to start leaves private renters vulnerable to falling into arrears before they can get help, say charity Turn2Us.
They are urging people who are struggling to pay their rent to check if they are eligible for help before they get into trouble.
Latest figures show there are 14,814 claimants receiving housing benefit in Northampton, and 40,019 claimants in Northamptonshire.
But Turn2Us say that while some people are turned away from housing benefit, they could be able to claim Universal Credit.
Simon Hopkins, chief executive of Turn2Us, said: "It is crucial to seek help if you are struggling to pay your rent."
Mr Hopkins said: "Support is available and while you might not always be eligible, it is important to check what you are entitled to so that you do not miss out on help that you could be receiving. This is particularly the case if that help could mean the difference between going into arrears or not.”
Turn2Us are a national charity that help people in financial hardship access welfare benefits and support services. For more information, visit www.turn2us.org.uk.