Household Support Fund applications open

The Household Support Fund (HSF) grant has been extended again to support those most in need.

The grant helps families and vulnerable individuals who struggle to pay for basic living costs, such as:

  • food
  • energy
  • water bills
  • essential goods.

The £1,177,691.53 grant is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). 

Applications are open until 31 March 2023 or whenever the funds are exhausted, whichever is earlier.

Councillor Zaffar Ajaib, lead member for customer services, procurement and performance, said: “The grants will be welcomed at this time of rising costs and they are particularly for those households who are most vulnerable to help them through exceptional hardship. We would encourage people to check the eligibility criteria online and apply before the March deadline to benefit from this support.”

As with earlier tranches, more than half of the funding will be used to provide £15 per week, per child, in food vouchers to households in receipt of Free School Meals for the October 2022 half term, Christmas holidays, and February 2023 half term break. There are currently 7,100 eligible for Free School Meals. 

It will also provide a fund for the direct provision of support to care leavers and other vulnerable families known to the relevant teams.

The remaining fund will provide support to individuals and families who are eligible for assistance through the existing discretionary application process.

The scheme is open to all, but applications are encouraged from those groups that have missed out on other Government support packages. This may include but is not limited to:

  • people who have fuel costs but who cannot access the £400 of energy support from the Energy Bill Support Scheme 
  • those who receive non-means tested benefits and missed out on the cost-of-living payments
  • disabled people with increases in utility bills due to the usage of equipment or transport costs
  • those in receipt of housing benefit only, for example, those living in houses in multiple occupation and paying for fuel through meters etc
  • people who are entitled to but not claiming qualifying benefits
  • groups vulnerable to rising prices.

The grants will be issued on a first come, first served basis, providing the criteria is met.

Claim forms and more details about the Household Support Fund and discretionary schemes are available on the HSF webpage.

Published: 3 November 2022