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HomeNews£7 million support fund to boost city's most vulnerable householders

£7 million support fund to boost city’s most vulnerable householders

By Don Mort, local democracy reporter

The use of more than £7m in government funding to support vulnerable households has been formally agreed by Leeds council.

People will be helped with the cost of food and fuel after cash was allocated to the city from the Household Support Fund (HSF).

The fund, first launched in 2021 by the Department for Work and Pensions, was extended for six months from April this year.

A Leeds City Council report said £2.7m would be spent on cash payments to more than 62,500 households in receipt of Council Tax Support (CTS).

Those with children would receive a £100 payment. Pensioners and working-age adults without children will be awarded £25.

They will receive letters containing a barcode which can be taken to the Post Office, along with ID, to redeem the cash.

The report said: “The area of highest spend will be through the Council Tax Support related scheme.

“This will ensure that households on some of the lowest incomes in the city receive support directly, without the requirement for an application process.

The second greatest HSF allocation was £1.7m for charities in the city including the Leeds Food Aid Network, Voluntary Action Leeds, Forum Central and Fareshare.

Another allocation of £200,000 will go to the city’s Local Welfare Support scheme.

The report said: “The allocation of funds to this scheme will ensure that people coming forward for crisis and emergency support who may not have received support from other areas can also receive some support.”

A further £200,000 will cover cash awards for people claiming Discretionary Housing Payments. The payment will be £250 for households with children, up from £200 during the last HSF period, the report said.

The council will also allocate £350,000 to support people facing hardship as they are migrated onto Universal Credit from other benefits.

The city’s Children’s Services department will be given £350,000 to help vulnerable families it is supporting.

And some £225,000 will be allocated to support Housing Leeds tenants facing financial hardship.

The report said: “This may include tenants with high debts or rent arrears and a sudden loss of income, and tenants who have suffered fire or flood damage.”

The report said £225,000 would go to Leeds Housing Options to help homeless people and those at risk of losing their homes.

Leeds was allocated a total of £7.09m to spend between April 1 and September 30.

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