Help is at hand for people finding it hard to pay for food and energy bills
The Household Support Fund scheme has opened again for people finding it hard to cope with the rising cost of food and energy bills.
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have reopened the scheme to help households meet the costs of life’s essentials.
The fund is initially open for applications to help eligible households that have not received any support from the fund previously. However, from 13 February, if funds remain, it will be opened up wider to households that have received some funding in the past but not since May last year.
Residents can apply for support by filling in an online form on the councils’ websites or by calling their Community Hub team during office hours on 01235 422600. The fund closes on 31 March, or sooner if it is fully allocated.
Cllr Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing at South Oxfordshire District Council said: “We’re delighted that we’re able to offer this important scheme again because we know that some households are finding it hard to make ends meet. If someone hasn’t received this kind of support before and think they may be eligible, please visit our website to find out more.”
Cllr Helen Pighills, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities at Vale of White Horse District Council said: “We want to help support as many residents as we can, particularly after Christmas and during the cold winter months. If anyone needs help with completing the application form, please contact our friendly Community Hub team for assistance.”
The councils recognise that many residents are struggling in these difficult economic times and are offering a wide range of advice, including information on free or affordable food banks and council tax support. They can also help to signpost people for debt advice and other cost of living support, and provide information on housing support as well as guidance on how people can look after their mental health and wellbeing.
Residents can find out more about the Household Support Fund and other cost of living support available from the councils’ websites:
The Household Support Fund Extension (HSF3) was announced by government in September 2022.
Oxfordshire County Council receive the Household Support Fund for the county area as the upper tier authority and make the funding available to district and city councils as appropriate for the circumstances of the area.