Thousands to benefit as council boosts Household Support Fund

Leader of the council, Councillor Neil Emmott with local residents and volunteers at the Lighthouse Project in Middleton.
Leader of the council, Councillor Neil Emmott with local residents and volunteers at the Lighthouse Project in Middleton.

Published: 27 May 2022

Rochdale Borough Council is investing a further £3.3 million to support thousands of families, older residents and households in greatest need.

The Household Support Fund package includes £2.3 million of government funding and £1 million of council support agreed by councillors.

As part of its support offer, the council is using the money to provide assistance for those in greatest need through:

  • Targeted assistance for low income households through the provision of free school meals e-vouchers during school holidays. This is based on children in receipt of free school meals and others identified through children’s services
  • Targeted help with energy costs for people aged over 66
  • Supermarket and fuel vouchers through the council’s Household Assistance Fund
  • Further support for the Food Solutions Network, which includes a network of over 40 groups, including local food banks, food clubs and food pantries
  • Support to address the government reduction in discretionary housing payments
  • Support for the Household Energy Scheme, operated through Groundwork, to assist with energy bills and low-cost energy saving measures                                             

The support for energy costs will focus on residents currently aged 66 or over in receipt of local Council Tax support. Eligible residents will receive their first payment of £60 by Tuesday, 31 May 2022 with a further £60 to follow by Friday, 2 September 2022. This will benefit over 7,000 households and is on top of the government’s £150 council tax energy rebate for all residents in Council Tax bands A to D.

Families eligible for free school meal e-vouchers will be contacted directly, benefitting around 13,000 children.

Councillor Neil Emmott, leader of the council, said: “As the national cost of living crisis really takes a grip, we are ensuring that local support is provided for those most in need. That’s why we have put this £3.3 million package in place. I have always said that, as a responsible council, we will ensure that the vulnerable, older people and young families are helped and protected. This wide-ranging package of support is a further vital safety net, building on the winter support package we successfully delivered.”

He added: “It’s only a few months since around 28,000 Universal Credit claimants in our borough lost £20 per week. That was money to put food on the table, heat their homes and provide clothes for their children. That’s why we have topped up this funding, helping to ensure thousands of residents don’t go hungry, are unable to feed their family, or are frightened of turning their heating on. Throughout the pandemic, we supported and protected our most vulnerable residents. That work is continuing, delivering for residents most in need of our help.”

Households in particular need are being encouraged to get in touch, to see what assistance could be available for them.

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