Roundup of recent DWP announcements
Household Support Fund
A new £500m Household Support Fund to help vulnerable households as we continue our recovery from the pandemic has been launched by the Government.
This new scheme is designed to help vulnerable households with the essentials, including food costs and utility bills. In England, the money will be distributed by councils, who know their local areas best and can directly help those who need it most, including, for example, through small grants to meet daily costs. Up to £79m of the fund will be split between the devolved administrations.
The fund will start in October and run over winter. Those in need of support and organisations interested in bidding for funding should contact their local authority, as it will be up to each local authority to decide precise eligibility for the scheme and how best to support members of their communities.
The new fund sits alongside other support available for households:
- the Warm Home Discount Scheme which provides a £140 rebate on energy bills each winter to over 2.2 million low-income households
- the Cold Weather Payment which provides £25 extra a week for poorer households when the temperature is consistently below zero
- the Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has offered nutritious meals and enriching activities to disadvantaged children across the Easter and summer holidays, and will do so again this Christmas
- doubling of free childcare for eligible working parents, worth up to £5,000 per child every year
- Healthy Start vouchers which increased in value by over a third in April, helping disadvantaged women who are pregnant or have children under four to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, boosting the long-term health of their children.