Department for Work and Pensions
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£842 million available to help families in need

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.

Further Information

  • As part of the support package, the devolved administrations have also been allocated funding in parallel as a result of the Barnett Formula to spend at their discretion.
  • The Household Support Fund was first launched on 6 October 2021, and has been extended through various schemes since. It has now been extended through to 31 March 2024. This year represents the fourth edition of the fund.
  • Local Authorities have discretion on how they design and deliver their scheme depending on local need, within the parameters of the guidance set out by the Department for Work and Pensions. Some examples of how local authorities have used the fund:
  • Leicestershire: The Council created a partnership with Leicester City Football Club – community cooking events during the Whitsun week.
  • Bexley: Bexley Council established an energy cafe to support residents to address increasing fuel costs. The cafe provides advice and signposting to resources as well as providing energy resource packs. Bexley also provided support with fuel costs for refuge accommodation for domestic abuse and victims in the community.
  • Blackpool: Blackpool Council have made use of their local markets to deliver support. They set up a market voucher scheme where households with children and/or pensioners could receive vouchers for fresh food from the local markets. They also ran an application process for households in need via a number of partners in the voluntary sector that enabled people to access support with food fuel and white goods.
  • Wokingham: Wokingham Council have delivered over 650 energy saving packs, including air fryer/slow cookers, heated blankets, thermal clothing, draft excluders, LED lightbulbs. They have also funded Hot Meals/Lunch Clubs and Warm Rooms, primarily for pensioners, including door to door; and church led events run by the voluntary and charity sector.
  • Devon: Devon Councils worked with the Cosy Devon Sustainable Warmth project, using the fund to pilot a scheme to provide minor but rapid energy efficiency improvements to the homes of eligible households via a Cosy Devon open application process.
  • Blackburn with Darwen: Blackburn Council have been able to support more households by bulk ordering food via a distributor for food boxes. Support has been provided via crisis food providers plus a network of food clubs, larders and community centres to reach as many people as possible. This has included grab bags over school holidays.
  • Derbyshire: Derbyshire Council have empowered schools, health professionals and other people who work with families to target the families with children on their behalf. These professionals then fill out a form and provide it to the council, who then assess the application. Typically, a voucher is sent out to the claimant to redeem at the Post Office the very next day.

Buckinghamshire: Buckinghamshire Council have evolved their local emergency support scheme since the start of the Household Support Fund to provide help to local residents. Through this service, a team will have a conversation with the resident and establish what the best support for them would be. They make use of referrals from housing associations, who will advocate on behalf of the residents. Residents can therefore both self-refer and be referred by professionals. Buckinghamshire have a large team to deliver this now, and most of them are directly engaging with residents every day.

Table 1: Full Allocations for each local authority

Region Upper Tier LA HSF4 Allocation Total HSF Allocation
East Midlands Derby £4,449,422.82 £11,123,557.04
East Midlands Leicester £6,858,706.32 £17,146,765.80
East Midlands Rutland £314,742.14 £786,855.34
East Midlands Nottingham £7,113,867.65 £17,784,669.13
East Midlands Derbyshire £10,808,161.80 £27,020,404.50
East Midlands Leicestershire £7,240,077.79 £18,100,194.47
East Midlands Lincolnshire £10,929,370.39 £27,323,425.98
East Midlands North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire £10,130,241.01 £25,325,602.52
East Midlands Nottinghamshire £11,292,900.05 £28,232,250.13
East of England Peterborough £3,649,272.55 £9,123,181.37
East of England Luton £3,658,548.09 £9,146,370.22
East of England Southend-on-Sea £2,826,157.65 £7,065,394.13
East of England Thurrock £2,590,081.62 £6,475,204.04
East of England Bedford £2,402,969.99 £6,007,424.98
East of England Central Bedfordshire £2,966,147.64 £7,415,369.10
East of England Cambridgeshire £7,162,849.12 £17,907,122.79
East of England Essex £18,873,085.67 £47,182,714.17
East of England Hertfordshire £12,344,129.67 £30,860,324.19
East of England Norfolk £13,393,612.46 £33,484,031.14
East of England Suffolk £10,212,060.04 £25,530,150.09
London City of London £126,160.56 £315,401.39
London Barking and Dagenham £4,324,103.04 £10,810,257.60
London Barnet £4,910,365.81 £12,275,914.52
London Bexley £3,084,619.30 £7,711,548.25
London Brent £5,562,444.56 £13,906,111.40
London Bromley £3,735,765.15 £9,339,412.88
London Camden £4,013,863.79 £10,034,659.47
London Croydon £6,027,378.98 £15,068,447.45
London Ealing £5,317,609.95 £13,294,024.87
London Enfield £5,695,989.27 £14,239,973.18
London Greenwich £4,757,385.83 £11,893,464.57
London Hackney £5,644,517.16 £14,111,292.91
London Hammersmith and Fulham £2,828,749.94 £7,071,874.85
London Haringey £4,813,343.44 £12,033,358.61
London Harrow £2,953,414.36 £7,383,535.91
London Havering £3,296,301.97 £8,240,754.92
London Hillingdon £4,138,684.13 £10,346,710.33
London Hounslow £4,084,792.34 £10,211,980.84
London Islington £4,436,319.2

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