£11.2 million set to support Notts households struggling with rising bills
Around 40,000 Nottinghamshire households struggling to make ends meet are set to get extra support this summer and winter.
The fourth round of the Government’s Household Support Fund (HSF) is worth £11.2 million to cover a full year (March 2023 to March 2024) and will once again be administered by Nottinghamshire County Council in partnership with borough and district councils.
One-off summer and winter support payments, both worth around £100 per household will continue to support families with children entitled to free school meals as well as other households and individuals struggling with rising costs.
Plans to share the funds include:
• £3.2 million to be shared among approx. 19,000 households with children in receipt of free school meals, or with children five or under with an equivalent eligibility;
• £3.2 million is due to distributed among approx.15,500 households where one or more person receives or is eligible for Pension Credit;
• £3.2 million to be shared among any other households struggling with rising costs, particularly those who may not be eligible for other government support, plus an additional £400,000 is being set aside to help buy white goods for those who can’t afford an oven or fridge etc. Applications for this share of the funds will once again be via a referral from a front-line worker such as housing officers, social workers or those working in benefit teams;
• £500,000 due to be used as discretionary housing payments (issued via district and borough councils) to help those facing homelessness.
The first set of payments are expected later this summer. Families in receipt of free school meals or Pension Credit will once again be contacted directly by the county council with details of how to apply for a seasonal payment. Front-line workers will be once again help identify other households most in need via a referral process.
Nottinghamshire has already benefitted from three sets of £5.6 million HSF funds, each covering a six-month period.
For the third round of HSF which ended on 31 March, the county council delivered a one-off winter support voucher payment worth around £100 for each eligible household to use towards essential household costs, such as food, energy, and water bills. This support included:
• £2.6 million worth of vouchers benefitted more than 18,500 families with children eligible for free school meals or equivalent;
• More than £1.85 million was distributed to help more than 14,600 vulnerable people of a pensionable age;
• Front line workers helped identify those households most in need, particularly those not eligible for other government support. Vouchers worth £415,300 were allocated on a referral basis plus an additional £67,168 was spent providing basic white good items such as ovens and fridges to those who can’t afford to buy them or have them replaced;
• £210,000 used as discretionary housing payments to help those at risk of being homeless.
Councillor John Cottee, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“We are delighted that the government has extended this funding which this time has been allocated for the whole year. This helps us to plan the fairest and most timely way to get the funds to those who need them the most and help ease their financial worries.
“To help reach those who may not be eligible for other government support and are in need of essential items such as ovens and fridges, an even wider range of organisations, such as community-based support groups, will work with us to help identify those most in need of support.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said the latest round of funding will build on the county council’s overall work to deliver support for those struggling to make ends meet.
She said: “This shows our continued commitment to helping households who are most in need of support, including helping low-income households with children entitled to free school meals or equivalent.
“This support is in addition to other continuing schemes to support the wellbeing of children in the county, including our Holiday Activities and Food programme (HAF) which focuses on supporting youngsters to improve their knowledge of health and nutrition and encouraging them to eat more healthily and be more active during school holidays.”
Updates on the fourth round of the Household Support Fund will be made here:
Nottinghamshire Household Support Fund (HSF) Phase 4 | Nottinghamshire County Council
For other financial support, there's a dedicated webpage:
Cost of living support | Nottinghamshire County Council