Ealing Council is urging the government to extend the Household Support Fund (HSF) beyond the end of March, to allow families to continue to receive this lifeline funding during the cost of living crisis.
In his latest leader’s notes, Councillor Peter Mason said: “As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, it is those who are most vulnerable who continue to be most impacted. Yet there is currently a real risk of things worsening for many residents across the borough, as uncertainty over the future of the household support fund grows.
“In late 2021, the government launched the Household Support fund (HSF) in response to the cost-of-living crisis. This money helps councils support those most impacted.
“The provision of the HSF has been a lifeline for those who need the most help but, as things stand, this fund will end on Sunday 31 March and the government has not yet confirmed if the fund will be extended beyond this date.
“We, at Ealing Council, are urging the government to extend the HSF so that we can continue to provide food, warm spaces, and one-off payments for essential items for residents, and so that we can also continue to support local charities providing vital services to residents struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.”
Who does this funding support?
This winter, the council has used £5.3million of HSF money to:
- provide holiday food vouchers to 17,000 households – including 14,400 households with school age children and 1,200 households with children under 5
- provide food vouchers for 339 young people in care
- provide food vouchers to 2,250 households receiving council tax relief or housing benefit
- provide food vouchers to 2,200 households who receive care at home
- give £200,000 to local charities to provide advice and support to residents
- pay £300,000 in one-off payments to help residents with essential purchases
If the government axes the HSF, then these services will simply stop because the council will not be able to make up the funding.
Sign the petition
Council Mason continued: “There is a real risk of many households falling through the gaps into crisis if this support is stopped, and there will likely be even more demand on our services.
“We’ve set up a petition for residents, faith leaders, charities, and community groups to sign, urging the government to think again. Please show your support for those in our community who need our help the most and lend your support to our campaign.”
The petition is available now online at the Change website.