A report by Sky News says the number of people on Universal Credit is set to double this year.
By the time roll-out of the new system is complete in 2022, more than seven million people, both in and out of work, are expected to be registered. Ministers say the Government's flagship welfare policy is resulting in people getting into work more quickly and staying in work for longer.
Sky News has been given exclusive access to data from the National Housing Federation (NHF), the body which represents housing associations across the country. It shows rent arrears are becoming a major problem in areas where UC has been rolled out.
Forty-three housing associations responded to the NHF survey, which showed the percentage of UC tenants in rent arrears was far higher than among tenants still on the previous system.
The survey also showed a third of all UC claimants had alternative payment arrangements (APAs), with at least one housing association reporting that 75% of its UC tenants had an APA in place.
This is significant because a central part of UC is the idea that housing support is paid direct to the tenant, unlike the previous system which saw housing benefit paid direct to landlords.
After bowing to pressure from landlords, the Government has made it easier for APAs to be put in place - meaning it can now apply for one unilaterally if a tenant is in arrears by two months or more.
But while the growing number of APAs might result in a gradual easing of rent arrears pressure, it undermines one of the core ideas behind universal credit - that claimants are encouraged to take responsibility for their own finances and learn to manage a monthly rather than fortnightly income. Sky News has also obtained interim findings of the latest poll conducted by the Residential Landlords Association's research unit.
They found that despite a number of changes to UC intended to ease the concerns of some private landlords, there had been little change in attitude. Those concerns include making advance loans easier to obtain, changes to the rules around APAs, shortening the minimum gap between claim and payment from six to five weeks, and continuing to pay housing benefit directly for the first two weeks of that period.
About two thirds of the 2,234 landlords surveyed said they had less confidence to lease to tenants on UC because of the default position of payments going to the tenant rather than the landlord. The RLA research also shows evictions are on the increase.
A third of all landlords with tenants on UC reported that they had evicted a tenant on the new system in the last year. In 77% of those cases, it was due to rent arrears - up from 64% last year.