Councils to be allocated money to directly help those most in need with essential food and energy costs until 31 March 2024.
- Government today announces details of Household Support Fund extension worth £842 million
- Local Authorities to update their websites with specific details of their support offerings in coming weeks
£842 million of additional funding will be allocated from 1st April to help the most vulnerable households across England.
The funding is an extension of the Household Support Fund and has been allocated by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to English councils, who will then use it to support people in their local area pay for energy bills or groceries.
Those wanting to find out what support is available in their local area should visit their Local Authority’s website or contact their local council office.
Mims Davies, DWP Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression, said:
“The Household Support Fund has already helped vulnerable families across England through these challenging times and I am pleased it will continue to do so for another full year.”
“This is just one part of our extensive and targeted £26 billion support package, which includes payments worth £900 for millions of people on benefits and additional support for disabled people and pensioners, whilst every household will continue to save money thanks to our Energy Price Guarantee.”
“We also know that bearing down on inflation is one of the best ways to help families cope with rising bills, which is why the Prime Minister has made halving inflation this year one of his top priorities.”
The distribution of the funding is targeted at the areas of the country with the most vulnerable households.
Councils in England have the flexibility to decide how best to spend their allocation to support people in their local area quickly and efficiently, drawing from local knowledge and direct contact with people in the community. This builds on the similar support provided over the past 18 months, with the Household Support Fund now worth over £2 billion across its lifetime.
It has previously been used in a variety of different ways since its inception to support those most in need. For example, Leicestershire County Council have worked with Leicester City Football Club to create community cooking events, whilst Bexley Council established an energy café to provide energy resource packs and advice on energy consumption.
Elsewhere, Blackpool Council set up a scheme so families and pensioners in need could get vouchers for food direct from their local market stalls, whilst Wokingham delivered over 650 energy saving packs to those in need, with items such as air fryers, slow cookers, heated blankets and LED lightbulbs included.
This comes on top of extensive support for those in need in the coming months. The most vulnerable will receive direct payments in 2023/24, which include up to £900 delivered in three payments to those on means-tested benefits, a £150 payment for those on disability benefits, and £300 on top of Winter Fuel Payments for pensioner households.
Benefits and pensions will also increase by 10.1% in April, with the minimum wage seeing its largest ever cash rise, hitting £10.42 an hour. And more widely, the Energy Price Guarantee will save the typical household £500 in 2023/24.