The impact of Covid-19 in St Albans district

In the first year of the Covid pandemic, Citizens Advice helped over 8,000 people in St Albans district. No other organisation sees so many people with so many problems. This gives us a unique insight into the effect of Covid-19 on people living here.

Four broad areas account for two-thirds of all the issues we dealt with in this period: benefits, debt, housing and employment. But our analysis shows that the pandemic was associated with an increase in problems relating to employment – in particular the furlough scheme and redundancies – and making claims for Universal Credit. As a result of Covid, many local people who previously thought their jobs were relatively secure, have been made unemployed or seen their income fall sharply and have had to access the welfare system for the first time. Some have struggled to do so and have needed our help.

The better news is that fewer people sought our advice about debt and housing issues. In part, this was due to the government’s restrictions on landlords and the activities of bailiffs. As these restrictions are lifted, we expect an increase in the numbers of people coming to us with problems in both areas.

If you would like to know more, you can read our full report here.