Published: 06:07, 30 September 2021
| Updated: 07:10, 30 September 2021
The Government has launched a new £500 million scheme to help vulnerable households over winter.
The Household Support Fund will be distributed by councils in England which can assist the community through small grants to meet daily needs such as food, clothing and utilities, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said in a statement.
The funding will be made available to local authorities in October.
The 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.
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
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said in the statement that the Government has “helped millions of people provide for their families” over the last year.
“Many are now back on their feet but we know that some may still need further support,” Ms Coffey said.
“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.”
It comes as figures showed record numbers of people are seeking support for their mental and financial wellbeing ahead of the widely-opposed Universal Credit (UC) cut coming into force.
Removing the £20-a-week uplift will be a “catastrophic cut” that could cause people’s mental health problems to spiral, the charity Mental Health UK warned on Tuesday.
Visits to its online mental health and money advice service have almost doubled in a year – from 30,760 in August 2020 to 60,214 last month.