Household Support Fund extended in South Ribble – how it will be spent

Posted on - 23rd May, 2024 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News, South Ribble News
South Ribble Borough Council building. Pic: South Ribble Council
South Ribble Borough Council building. Pic: South Ribble Council

South Ribble Borough Council have accepted the Government Household Support Grant funding of £329,741 and approve a delivery plan to ensure the funding is allocated to residents who are facing financial pressures.

The funding will be used to deliver support for low-income households with essentials such as energy, water and food. As well as wider essentials linked to energy and water such as warm clothing, housing costs, hygiene products, etc. Along with advice services including debt, benefit and employment advice.

The amount of £300 can be given, for single-person households an additional £50 will be provided (a total of £350). This will be supplied in appropriate vouchers.

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The funding will be allocated between May and September 2024 with varying eligibility criteria and application dates. The scheme will begin on 1 June 2024 and will operate on a first come first served basis until 15th September 2024.

The council’s approach is to allocate the funding into three areas: Advice and support, financial and practical support, infrastructure and community support.

Advice and support will include:

  • Social prescribing support – an ongoing programme directing residents to key partners and organisations to maximise the support offered.
  • Outreach and engagement – return of the South Ribble cost-of-living support bus in September 2024.
  • Financial and practical support will include:
  • Household Support Fund payments – for short-term living costs such as food, gas/electric, water and other household bills.
  • Discretionary Housing Payments – short-term financial support to those eligible.
  • Affordable Warmth – supporting residents in owner occupied properties with energy efficient improvements to reduce energy bills (eligible for those with vulnerabilities and have a low income, see the link at the end of the article for the vulnerability criteria).
  • School Uniform pop-up shop – access to free school uniform, advice and support.
  • Discretionary fund – training, employment courses and wellbeing activities, social prescribing teams to assist.
  • Step Up Grant – for professionals who come into contact with vulnerable households such as social workers, health visitors and key workers delivering early help and family support.
  • Infrastructure and community support will include:
  • Local resilience fund – to support local agencies and partners providing direct support to residents.
  • Community fund – providing budget to community hubs to provide provision for advice and practical support.

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To be eligible for this support you must meet the following criteria:

  • A South Ribble resident
  • Experiencing financial hardship and do not have enough resources to meet your immediate short-term needs (you may be asked to provide supporting documentation such as proof of income or receive a home visit to survey your needs).
  • You do not need to be on benefits to access the scheme, but it may count as meeting the low-income criteria.
  • Applicants may apply more than once but not within a 3-month period and evidence will be requested that the funds awarded previously were used for the intended purposes.

Councillor Paul Foster, leader of South Ribble Borough council said: “I am so pleased that we can approve this excellent delivery plan to help those low-income families and individuals in our communities.

“We know that many people in South Ribble are still feeling the effects of the rising cost-of-living and through the process of developing this plan, working with partners, we have identified key areas of the borough where we know our people need additional support. This allows us to target effectively with our new raft of support mechanisms.”

Read more: Not being able to afford food main reason people receive help from Household Support Fund

In the Spring Statement the Chancellor announced, that the Household Support Fund (HSF) would be extended from 1st April 2024 to 30th September 2024. Lancashire has been awarded £9,678,235 of which South Ribble Borough Council have been allocated £329,741.

The council have highlighted on their website that the scheme may close early if the budget is spent before September 2024.

For more information on the support available and how to access the support can be found at South Ribble Borough Council.

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