A NEW round of support has opened to help Leicester residents who are on a low income and struggling with the rising cost of living.
Leicester City Council has received a further £6.8million of government funding from the Department for Work and Pensions to extend the Household Support Fund, which will help vulnerable people and families pay their bills.
From Tuesday (30 May), people will be able to apply to the fund online through the council’s website. They will be able to ask for help with fuel, food and water bills.
People and families who apply could be given e-vouchers that can be used towards utility bills or converted into gift cards for use at local supermarkets. The council may also be able to provide credit towards utility bills and help with the purchase of cookers, washing machines and other white goods.
Professionals, such as social workers and housing officers, will also be able to make referrals for support.
Funding will also be given to support foodbanks in the city. Households in Leicester that claim housing benefit but have missed out on the Department for Work & Pensions Cost of Living Payment will also receive a voucher for £300 to help with their costs for fuel and food. This can be redeemed at any Post Office.
The Household Support Fund is intended to run until March 2024. However, it is a limited fund so could close earlier depending on how many applications are received.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell said: “This government funding will go a small way to assisting residents of the city in the current cost of living crisis. We will use all flexibility to ensure it makes the biggest difference to those families most urgently in need of support.”
Following the launch on Tuesday, applications to the Household Support Fund will be open every Monday, on Wednesday evenings and every second Saturday (from 10 June).
For further details, or to make an online application, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/HouseholdSupportFund
Households in need of support with housing costs should visit www.leicester.gov.uk/dhps
More information on other support available from Leicester City Council can be found at www.leicester.gov.uk/your-community/benefits-and-support