Household Support Fund

H&F is committed to providing a wide range of support to help residents through the Cost of Living crisis.  We have a total package of support worth £10 million in 2022 and 2023. This includes an allocation of £2.83m from the Department of Work and Pensions Household Support Fund for April 2023 to March 2024.   

The total funding is being used to support residents who are struggling with things such as energy bills and food.  We are working with local charities, voluntary and community sector organisations and local partners under our Cost of Living Alliance to make sure we are helping those who need it most.   

We have decided to use our Cost of Living funding, including the Household Support Fund, to support residents in the following areas until March 2024.   

Help with food and essential living costs for low-income residents and young people 

We will distribute funds to local voluntary and community groups, including food charities working to alleviate food poverty and the rising costs of food.  

In Winter 2023, we will make payments to residents receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support who have not qualified for the £900 national Cost of Living payment (because they are not receiving one of the qualifying benefits). There is no need to apply for this and further details will be made available via these pages.   

We will also be making a one-off payment to care experienced young people in Winter 2023 to help with essential living costs. There is no need to apply for this funding, as it will be given directly to the care experienced young people. 

The council is continuing to provide food holiday support to children claiming Free School Meals. Some of the Cost of Living funding is being used to help pay for the food activity programme over summer 2023, which will help hundreds of children in the borough.   

Funding has also been provided to Children’s Services Teams to distribute to children and their families with additional support needs.   

Energy cost support 

Many residents are struggling with the high cost of energy.   

We are continuing to distribute fuel vouchers to residents with pre-payment meters who have been cut off or have no credit to pay for electricity or gas.   

In Winter 2023, we will make payments to Disabled residents and families of Disabled children who are struggling with the cost of energy.   

We have also launched Winter Ready Homes to help residents make small energy efficiency improvements to their homes, which can make a big difference in saving money. More details on this scheme will be announced in coming weeks.   

Crisis Prevention Fund 

We have launched the Crisis Prevention Fund to provide one-off awards to help H&F residents meet essential day-to-day living expenses. To be eligible, you must be in severe financial hardship and need immediate help and have no other source of financial support available. To find out more, see Apply for a crisis prevention payment

We are also providing extra funding for Local Support Payments (LSP), which can provide help in an emergency or a crisis. To apply for this scheme, please see the LSP page.   

Housing and homelessness support 

We are providing additional funding to support residents facing homelessness, including families in the private rented sector.  As part of this support, we are also supporting residents that have moved into new accommodation but lack money to purchase basic furniture.   

Our teams are also giving debt and money management help to social housing tenants and residents renting their home at risk of homelessness.   

Cost-of-living crisis team 

We are continuing to have a dedicated cost-of-living crisis team to help residents access support for the cost-of-living crisis.  This team can provide guidance and advice on services and support under our funding strategy and from wider partners. Contact details for the team can be found on the cost-of-living homepage.   

Our teams are also providing advice and guidance to residents at 145 King Street and at pop-up information stalls on housing estates, community locations and shopping centres.   

More information 

Our cost-of-living webpages have information and advice on the support and help available.  The government's cost of living hub also offers help.    

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