Household Support Fund
The Household Support Fund is funding provided by government to local authorities to directly help those who need it the most. The fund has recently been further extended to March 2024. This brings the total Household Support Fund for Richmond to £4,181,765.
As part of the fund, support will be given to low-income households particularly affected by the cost of living crisis, COVID pandemic and the higher costs of household essentials.
The first three tranches of the Household Support Fund (HSF1, HSF2, HSF3) have been spent to 31 March 2023 and approval has been obtained from the Council’s Finance Committee on how Household Support Fund Tranche 4 (HSF4) will be spent. This covers the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.
Household Support Fund Tranche 4 (HSF4)
|Food Vouchers for those in receipt of free school meals to cover school holidays||1,161|
|Support for looked after children, CIN, care leavers and supporting families with food and fuel payments||100|
|Voluntary Sector Scheme: providing a hardship grant fund for local residents (includes admin costs)
|Support with Council Tax bills||52|
*includes admin charge
Supermarket vouchers for children on free school meals
There will be a continuation of food vouchers in the holidays for those children on free school meals.
If you are eligible for free school meals but not currently claiming, or are unsure about your eligibility, you should apply for free school meals.
Children with disabilities, children looked after and care leavers
Continued support to children with disabilities, children looked after and care leavers will include payments to support with the increased costs of living.
Support with Council Tax bills
In order to further address the cost of living crisis, for 2023/24 the government is funding, through a one-off Council Tax Support Fund grant, at least a £25 reduction in council tax bills for all those on means tested benefits, using Council Tax Reduction (CTR) as the eligibility criteria. Richmond will receive ringfenced funding of £220,115 for 2023/24.
The Council Tax Support Fund has both a mandatory and discretionary element. The scheme guidance requires the Council to pay £25 at the start of the 2023/24 year onto the account of all CTR cases where there is a charge to pay following the assessment of their CTR. In exercising its discretion on how to spend the funding, the Council can decide if it wishes to apply the support to new recipients of CTR during the year, rather than just those that are eligible at 1 April 2023, and whether it wishes to put in place a scheme that is more generous than the funding provided.
The Council has decided to set the maximum award value of the 2023 Richmond Cost of Living Discount payments (funded in part from Council Tax Support Fund grant and in part by HSF4) at £100 per household. This would reduce the council tax bills for over 2,000 households. You do not need to apply for this. This discount will show as a 2023 Richmond Cost of Living Discount credit on all eligible bills, immediately creating zero balances for more households and reducing instalments for those low-income households that contribute to their Council Tax.
Voluntary Sector Scheme
Richmond AID and Citizens Advice Richmond (CAR) have received Household Support Funding to distribute to low-income households who are struggling and need help and support accessing food, energy bills or other household essentials. This includes working households on a low income.
What can the grant be for?
You can apply for a grant for food, energy costs, clothing, essential equipment, etc. If your grant application is successful you can receive a grant award via a BACS payment into your account or get supermarket vouchers.
How much will you receive?
The grant amount varies according to household size:
- Up to £300 for households with 1 or more adults
- Up to £500 for households with 1 child
- Up to £600 for households and 2 children or more
Eligibility for the grant
To be eligible for the grant you must be over 18 and live in the borough of Richmond and be struggling from the impact of rising costs of food and energy or continue to be impacted by Covid, for example:
- Reduced pay or lost job
- Benefits issues
- Struggling to afford food, energy costs and other essentials, including white goods
- Extra costs as a result of Covid
Individuals with no recourse to public funds are also eligible, particularly if:
- there are community care needs
- they have serious health problems
- there is a risk to a child’s wellbeing
How to apply
For more information on the grant or to apply please contact Citizens Advice Richmond by freephone 080 82 78 78 73. Lines are open 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
You can also complete apply for the grant with the Citizens Advice online form.
For people with long term health conditions, disabilities and carers contact Richmond AID by email at email@example.com or call 020 8831 6070
View what other funding is available if you are struggling as a result of coronavirus.
Local Assistance Scheme
For those residents in receipt of welfare benefits, there are crisis grants available to help in an emergency for household items, food and baby essentials.
No recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) Hardship Fund
We will make awards available from the Covid-19 Hardship Fund, which does not count as public funds, to Richmond residents whose income has been affected by Covid-19 and have no recourse to public funds. The NRPF fund can help households by providing support with groceries in the form of supermarket vouchers.
Further support and advice
If you require any further support or advice on the cost of living, please visit our Cost of Living Hub.
Updated: 24 July 2023