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Household Support Fund

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The next round of the Household Support Fund is now open.

The Household Support Fund is a cash limited discretionary fund provided by the Department for Works and Pensions.

About the Household Support Fund Application Process

The Household Support Fund is to assist residents who are most in need due to the significant rise in the cost of living. The scheme will run until 31 March 2024

Applicants must live in the Preston area, and it is intended to help, as a short-term solution, residents who do not have enough resources to meet immediate short-term needs and require assistance with essential items over the coming months.

It can help with:

  • Energy and Water
  • Food
  • Essentials linked to energy and water
  • Wider essentials linked to the Cost-of-Living increases.

The scheme is not intended to cover debt advice or general financial hardship support which is not linked to energy, water or food.

Awards will be made where there is no alternative means of meeting the need.

The fund may assist with housing costs if all other avenues of support have been exhausted for example Discretionary Housing Payments.

Payments will be made on a first come first served basis. All applications will therefore be processed strictly in order of date received and only if all requested supporting documentation is complete.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the scheme you must be:

  • A resident of the Preston area - please visit GOV.UK - to find your local council
  • Experiencing financial hardship and not have enough resources to meet your immediate short-term needs.

Support available

The scheme can help with short term living costs such as food, gas electric, water, household bills and clothing (this is not an exhaustive list).

The scheme will also sign post you to other sources of advice and support to ensure that you get all the assistance you may be entitled to including Welfare Benefits and Debt Advice to help address your long term needs, this is before any decisions are made.

Please note, white goods, furniture and flooring can be considered under this scheme, however further investigations may be required and the decision of the council will be final.

Restrictions

The scheme does not cover:

  • Any requests for items that are not essential for example debts incurred by gambling or loans/credit cards, overdrafts, HP etc
  • Applications from those with sufficient income, savings, capital and assets
  • Requests for household items where these are the responsibility of the landlord
  • Rent arrears and/or deposits unless meeting exceptional need
  • Please note you can apply more than once during the duration of this round of funding, however applications will not be accepted within a 3 month period and we will request evidence that the funds awarded previously have been used for the intended purposes.

How to Apply?

Visit Preston City Council's Household Fund to apply. 

What information will you need to include?

We will need the following information:

  • Where you live
  • Full household details
  • Your circumstances
  • Your income
  • All applications must be supported with bank statements for all adults in the household and for all accounts held - these must be for one full month - showing transactions in and out of the account and must be dated within the last 2 months. Screenshots showing the bank account details only will not be accepted but pictures of bank statements may be submitted.
  • If you do not provide complete bank statements your application will not be considered
  • If you pay your energy bill by direct debit we will require a copy of the front and back page of your most recent bill showing:
    • balance owed
    • account number
    • confirmation of what type of meter you have installed.
  • If you have arrears on your energy bills we will require a copy of the bill showing the arrears, payments you have made towards these arrears and payment details for your supplier
  • Evidence of any gambling on bank statements provided will be investigated further as awards may not be made where there is evidence of gambling.
  • What support you need and why the support is required - please give a full explanation of your circumstances giving a full in depth explanation, it is not adequate to simply put "increase in household bills".

If we do not provide this information your application will not be considered and iincomplete applications will be rejected.

Can I appeal a decision if my application is unsuccessful? 

As this is a discretionary scheme there is no right of appeal. However, if you think Preston City Council have overlooked important information then you can ask for them to look at the application again by emailing household@preston.gov.uk providing reasons along with your name, address and reference number.