Chancellor Rishi Sunak, announced that the Household Support fund will be doubled for the most vulnerable households in his Spring Statement.
This will provide a further £500m of funding through local authorities from April to help households most in need pay for food, clothing and utilities.
When the fund was initially introduced in October 2021, it was designed to help those struggling financially in the wake of the pandemic as the government phased out the financial support schemes that were brought in to help people. Since then, UK households have been hit by soaring energy bills and high inflation, which reached 6.2% in February, meaning that more people than ever are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
The initial £500m Household Support Fund was distributed to local authorities across the country, and the additional £500m will work in the same way. The fund provides households in need with small grants to cover essential living costs and is available in addition to other support schemes that help people heat their homes during winter such as the Warm Home Discount, Cold Weather Payment and the Winter Fuel Payment. Find out more about these schemes in our article Are you eligible for help with heating costs?
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said: “Everyone should be able to afford the essentials, and we are committed to ensuring that is the case. Our new Household Support Fund will provide a lifeline for those at risk of struggling to keep up with their bills over the winter, adding to the support the Government is already providing to help people with the cost of living.”
There’s not much clear guidance on exactly who qualifies for support from the fund, how much you might get, or whether there will be means-testing to determine eligibility. The grants are offered on a discretionary basis, but help is available now, so if you’re struggling, it’s worth contacting your local authority to see if you might qualify for support. If you aren’t sure who your local authority is, you can find out here.