People receiving universal credit have racked up nearly £1 million in rent arrears.
Brighton and Hove City Council was owed £957,000 as of September this year.
The issue was highlighted at a council housing panel for the north area on Monday (10 December) when the Housing Management Performance Report for the first two quarters of the year went before tenant reps.
Moulsecoomb and Bevendean ward Labour councillor Kate Knight said that the arrears were a symptom of the “human suffering” behind the statistics.
She said: “Life is really hard for people. It is impossible to manage on universal credit.
“It makes me really unhappy.”
Arrears have almost doubled since the end of the last financial year, when £470,000 was owed by 1,005 tenants at the end of March.
There are now 1,759 people on universal credit in the city which combined six benefits into one and includes direct payment of housing benefit to tenants.
Ododo Dafe, head of housing income, supply and customer service, said that Brighton and Hove is not doing as badly as other areas.
She said that the council was working with people to help them into payment patterns and had staff in place to help people
There were now 445 households in rent arrears using alternative payment methods.
Once a tenant is eight weeks behind with their rent the council can arrange to have the money deducted from their benefits.
The council expected to collect 97.22 per cent of its rent before the end of the financial year at the end of March.