Household Support Fund
Shropshire Council has been given a grant of £4.1 million from the Government's national Household Support Fund (HSF) Grant Scheme. This money is to help people in Shropshire who are struggling to cope with the cost of energy and cost of living increases.
This grant scheme runs from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 and is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions. Shropshire Council and partner organisations are working together to ensure that people most in need are supported with this funding, in line with guidance set out by HM Government.
The fund can be used to support households with:
- Energy and water bills
- Other bills including food or broadband
- White goods including fridges and freezers
- Basic transport related costs
- Clothing and blankets
- Housing costs (in special cases) but not for mortgage payments
The fund will be used to help those most in need including:
- Large families or single income families with children of all ages,
- People with disabilities,
- Care leavers
- People with caring responsibilities
- People who may not have had support from the Government but who are still in financial need
The HSF4 Delivery Plan
The fund has been split into targeted and application-based help to cover a range of households likely to be most impacted by the rising cost of living.
A £270 payment to over 6,000 households on low incomes in one of the following categories: -
- Pensioners in receipt of council tax support who are not in receipt of pension credit guarantee credit
- Households in receipt of council tax support where Carers allowance is in payment
- Households in receipt of council tax support where a child is in receipt of a disability benefit
- Households in receipt of council tax support where a non-dependent is in receipt of disability benefits
- Households where there is a carers disregard on the council tax
- Households where there is a disabled band relief on the council tax
This payment will be issued directly to those who meet these criteria, provided that we hold bank details. Other identified households will be invited by letter to apply. We aim to have paid or contacted all eligible residents by the autumn, to help people as we move into winter.
Free school meals
The fund will continue to provide free school meal holiday vouchers. Children in receipt of benefits-related free school meals in Shropshire schools will continue to receive support, usually through meal vouchers. Funding is for 10 weeks in total, which includes summer half term, 3 weeks of the summer holiday, October half term, Christmas holiday, spring half term and the Easter holiday. This would benefit around 7,500 children, who will get an equivalent to £15 a week of support during these holiday periods.
If you’re on a low income and you think you could be eligible for free school meals, please visit our free school meals pages.
- Keep Shropshire Warm Advisory and Support Service
- Energy Debt Fund Relief (where vulnerable households are supported with the payment of electric and gas fuel debts)
- Winter Enabling Grants (helps households to carry out support and access further funding for home improvements and efficiency for heating systems, insulation works etc)
On average, for every £1 spent with the Household Support funding, an additional £4 can then be accessed through the other Government funds to carry out much-needed improvements to the homes of vulnerable Shropshire residents.
If you’re on a low income and you think you could be eligible for help with energy costs and grants for home improvements to help reduce energy costs please visit our affordable warmth and energy efficiency pages.
Partner organisation hardship grants
Provide support to meet the emergency need of vulnerable households in financial distress or hardship to meet the cost of unaffordable essentials including energy bills, food, boiler repairs, white goods, cookers, washing machines and fridge/freezers, and carpets/thermal curtains/bedding.
Application-based support is available through our Welfare Support Fund.
Low-income and vulnerable households in need can apply for help with food, energy and water bills, and with wider essential costs. This will be used alongside other funds that are available, To find out how to apply for the council’s Local Welfare Support Fund, visit our Local Welfare Support Fund pages.