It follows confirmation from the NI Housing Executive (NIHE) that the budget for Discretionary Housing Payments for the financial year 2022/23 has been exhausted.
Impacted claimants will be notified in due course and it is hoped that the provision will be reinstated at the beginning of April.
Said the Foyle MLA: “The pause on these vital payments for any period of time, is unacceptable.
“Across Northern Ireland, housing costs under Universal Credit fall short for 88% of private tenants.
“Discretionary Housing Payments provide a lifeline to many, helping to sustain tenancies for longer and prevent homelessness.
“This provision has become even more vital in the context of the costs crisis and rising rental prices within the Private Rented Sector.
“For impacted households left without payment this month will mean having to cut costs elsewhere.
“These are low-income households, many of whom are already on the breadline, being told that the limited support which was available has been stopped.
“NIHE hope to restart these payments in April and will make efforts to backdate payments but continued uncertainty around next year’s budget has left them, government departments, public services and people on a knife-edge.
“Once more the DUP’s siege at Stormont is forcing struggling families deeper and deeper into poverty.
“All tenants should feel secure in their tenure and most importantly have access to affordable housing.
“We need an Assembly in place to deliver the second phase of the Private Tenancies Bill and provide the best possible support for people at this challenging time.”