Household support fund: what is the £500m government scheme to help vulnerable households - and how to apply

Work and Pensions secretary Therese Coffey says the government has “helped millions of people provide for their families”

A new £500 million support scheme is being launched to help vulnerable households over winter, the government has announced.

The Household Support Fund will be distributed by councils across England to assist the community through small grants to meet daily necessities like food, clothing and utilities.

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Why has the scheme been launched?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the Barnett formula will apply in the usual way to additional funding in England, with the devolved administrations to receive up to £79 million of the £500 million.

Therese Coffey, Work and Pensions Secretary, said that over the last year the government has “helped millions of people provide for their families.”

Therese Coffey, Work and Pensions Secretary, announced that the Universal Credit uplift will not be extended and instead be phased out in autumn 2021.

In a statement, she explained: “Many are now back on their feet but we know that some may still need further support,

“Our targeted Household Support Fund is here to help those vulnerable households with essential costs as we push through the last stages of our recovery from the pandemic.”

How to apply for The Household Support Fund

This scheme will run throughout winter, and the funding will be made available to local authorities in October.

The Government website states those who are in need of the support this fund can offer, should contact their local council, who will help them access the fund.

Universal Credit cut looming

The £500 million fund comes as figures reveal record-breaking numbers of people are seeking support for their mental and financial well-being ahead of the widely opposed Universal Credit cut.

On Tuesday (28 September), charity Mental Health UK warned that removing the £20-a-week uplift will be a “catastrophic cut” that could cause people’s mental health to spiral.

The charity added that visitors to its online mental health and money advice service have almost doubled in a year, rising from 30,760 to 60,214 last month.

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