The Council is working with select support organisations that operate in the Borough to provide one-off payments to vulnerable households struggling with housing costs.
Referrals are made to the Council by partner organisations on a case-by-case basis, on behalf of residents who are facing exceptional circumstances or a genuine emergency, after other options have been discounted.
Payments are made indirectly to offset household expenses, freeing up finances to deal with the specific need.
The support has been made possible by the Household Support Fund, which allows local authorities to support vulnerable households and decide how to allocate this additional funding. It was extended by the Government for a further six months, from 1 March to 30 September 2022.
Hampshire County Council have administered the fund locally under their connect4communities framework, creating a community grant fund (closing 29 July), a Utility Bill Support fund provided to Citizen’s Advice and Food Vouchers (coming soon). The remaining fund has been allocated amongst the eleven district and borough councils for Exceptional Housing Support to be used from June to September 2022.
The Council is not accepting individual applications and have taken this targeted approach to reach the most vulnerable households in the most responsible and effective manner.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Policy, Councillor Paul Bicknell, said: “With rising cost-of-living already directly squeezing residents and their families’ household finances, we are always looking to add more tools and support during this difficult time. We have taken this opportunity to continue to strengthen our partnerships with local support organisations to really help the most vulnerable households”.
Visit Tackling the cost-of-living crisis to access a range of national and local advice and support.