City’s struggling households set to benefit from £7.1million Household Support Fund
Thousands of households in Leeds struggling to meet the rising cost of living are set to benefit from a £7.1million grant being distributed by Leeds City Council.
The funding, received earlier this year from the Department for Work and Pensions Household Support Fund (HSF), is to be spent by September 2022 and will help hard-pressed local people meet the costs of food, keeping their home warm, paying essential utility bills and other essential living costs.
The bulk of the funding will be used to support people in receipt of Council Tax Support (CTS), meaning households on the lowest incomes will receive support directly and without the requirement for an application process.
Instead of applying, eligible households will be informed directly through the relevant council services, with around 63,000 low income households in receipt of CTS set to receive a voucher of up to £100 before the end of July 2022.
Similar funding was received last year, but government criteria means the money will be distributed more evenly and will support more groups but will mean that some families who might have received money last year, may not receive the same amount this year.
Further support for eligible families struggling during the summer holiday period is available through the Healthy Holidays initiative which is run by schools, community hubs and voluntary groups to provide a range of fun and engaging activities and a healthy nutritious meal throughout the holidays, for free.
Anyone who needs urgent help with food and household bills can call the local welfare support scheme on 0113 3760330. More information is available here.
Councillor Mary Harland, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said:
“We remain firmly committed to helping our most vulnerable residents and families during this incredibly financially difficult time.
“While this funding is extremely valuable, it will work out at no more than £9 per person in Leeds. We are making every effort to distribute it carefully and fairly, but we do recognise that the way in which the government has stipulated it to be allocated, will mean that some families will miss out on substantial support. We would like to remind eligible families that support is still available through other channels such as the Healthy Holiday’s initiative and if you need urgent help we are urging people to please get in touch via the local welfare support scheme.
“The funding will be allocated to more groups this year, including more funding made available to pensioners and to people without children who are in receipt of Council Tax Support. We will also be allocating a certain amount of funding to charities who have a particular focus on supporting families who are struggling. We hope that by allocating the funding in this way, we are able to help as many people who need it as much as we can while also following government guidance.”