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Household Support Fund

Person in house self isolating with isolation payment

Funded by UK Government logo

Round 5 of funding for the Household Support Fund

Preston City Council will be administering the fifth round of funding for the Household Support Fund on behalf of the UK Government.

Applications for the scheme are now open and will close on 30 September 2024, however this is subject to change if advised by central government that the scheme is being extended or runs out of funds.

The Household Support Fund 5 will be open for applications from all residents of Preston to apply for help and assistance with energy and water, Food, Essentials linked to Energy and Water and wider essentials such as clothing etc. The objective of The Fund is to provide crisis support to vulnerable households in most need with the cost of essentials.

Applicants must reside in the Preston area and only one application per household will be considered.

Applications can be made online and require all evidence providing at the time of application otherwise the case will be declined.

About the Household Support Fund Application Process

The Household Fund aims to provide a contribution of crisis support to vulnerable households in most need, with the cost of essentials.

It is intended to help residents who do not have enough resources to meet immediate short term needs and who require assistance with essential items over the coming months. 

It can help with:

  • Energy and Water
  • Food
  • Essentials linked to energy, water and food
  • Wider essentials.

The emphasis on this round of funding is for help with energy costs.

It is not intended to cover debt advice or general financial hardship support which is not linked to energy, water, food, or essentials linked to these.

The fund is not intended to cover housing costs as there are other benefits and support available to help with these, 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.

Emergency fuel voucher support

If someone in your household requires emergency fuel support, whilst you wait for your application to be processed please contact Citizens Advice on the following details:

  • Contact number - 07985192280 -  you will need to leave a voicemail message which includes your name, contact number and type of energy support you require. 
  • Contact email address - energysupport@prestoncitizensadvice.org.uk - send an email which includes your name, contact number and type of energy support you require. 

Citizens Advice will contact you directly, during office hours which are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.15am - 3.15pm. If your email or call arrives outside these times it will be dealt with on the next working day.

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). Please also visit GOV.UK - Cost of living support page to find out what support is available to help with the cost of living. This includes income and disability benefits, bills and allowances, childcare, housing and travel.

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

  • Items that are not essential - this includes for example Tumble driers, TV's etc
  • Debts incurred by gambling or loans/credit cards, HP or overdrafts
  • Applications from those with sufficient income, savings, capital and assets
  • Requests for household items that are the responsibility of landlords
  • Moving costs/rent arrears and/or deposits unless meeting an exceptional need
  • One application per household for the duration of the scheme - multiple applications will be declined
  • If supporting evidence is not provided at the time of application, then applications will be declined immediately

How to apply

Apply for the Household Support Fund scheme

We aim to deal with applications within 21 working days from receipt of the application and supporting evidence.

Please provide all supporting evidence at the time of application, ensuring you fully complete the application form, giving as much detail as possible. 

Please note due to the volume of applications being received, we are unable to respond to emails regarding documents or on the progress of your case. Please do not contact the council or submit multiple applications as this will delay the progress of your application and we will be unable to acknowledge your further contact.

For any queries with your online application please call 01772 906777.

What information to include

  • Complete the application form in full - do not leave any blank answers.
  • Give as much information as possible detailing why you need assistanceSimply writing "increase in bills" will result in your application being declined.
  • You will need to provide one-full months bank statements for all adults in the household for all accounts held. These must be dated within the last 2 months. These must show your personal details including name, address and account number and must be in date order. Screenshots will not be accepted unless they give the above information.

Please Note - Failure to provide the above at the time of application will result in your application being declined immediately. 

  • If you pay your energy bills by direct debit or require help with any other household bills, we will require a copy of the front and back pages of the bill, showing your name, address, account number and the balance on the bill.
  • If you pay for energy via a top up meter, please provide details of who your supplier is and what type of meter you have and how and where you can top up your meter.
  • Evidence of any gambling on the bank statements provided will be investigated further as awards will not normally be made where there is any evidence of gambling.

Incomplete applications will result in your application being declined so please ensure that it is fully completed.

Can I appeal a decision if my application is unsuccessful? 

As this is a discretionary scheme, there is no entitlement to it and decisions are based on your current circumstances. There is no right of appeal, however if you think we have overlooked important information then you can ask us to reconsider your application by emailing household@preston.gov.uk detailing the reasons why and including your name, address and case reference number.

The Council's decision is final.

Any form of abusive messages are not acceptable and will not be tolerated by the Council.

Your privacy

The information that you provide will be processed in accordance with the (GDPR) and data protection law for the purpose of provision and management of the Household Support Fund. Your data maybe shared with Gift 92 to assist with the purpose of your grant application and Preston City Council for the purposes of checking your eligibility for any further discounts or exemptions on your council tax.   

Your personal information, where provided, will be processed under Article 6,1 (e) of the GDPR - processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

Household Support Fund online Form

Apply for the Household Support Fund.

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