The Household Support Fund
We’ve received an additional £5.3 million from the Department for Work and Pensions to support vulnerable residents with the cost of food and utility bills. This is the fourth phase of the Household Support Fund – it covers the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.
We’ll distribute the funding to several groups of residents but we’ll use some of it to provide help and support, and try and provide sustainable solutions that will help residents for years to come.
Families whose children receive free school meals
Your household will receive £15 per week for each child who receives free school meals, for 13 weeks of school holidays: Easter, spring half term, summer term, autumn half term, February 2014 half term and two weeks at Christmas.
You’ll receive the funding directly from the school.
Contact your child’s school if you have any questions.
Households who haven’t received a cost of living payment from central government
There are around 800 households currently receiving Housing Benefit and / or Council Tax Reduction who will not receive any of the cost of living payments made by central government.
These include the cost of living payment, the elderly enhanced cost of living payment and the disabled enhanced cost of living payment of £150.
We already have the details of the households who receive Housing Benefit and / or Council Tax Reduction but will not receive a cost of living payment - we’ll be writing to you from mid November 2023 to confirm your award and tell you how to redeem it. There’s no need to contact us – we’ll write to you if you’re eligible.
Other financial support
We’re also providing funding to schools so they can support pupils. They can use it however they think is best – this could include a range of food support such as healthy snacks or breakfast clubs. We’re also supporting schools to improve their food’s quality and how it’s prepared.
With previous Household Support Fund phases, we had to provide cash payments, which only supported people for short periods.
This time we’re able to fund longer-term schemes like debt advice and support with benefits.
If you need support and you would like to talk to someone, we are launching a range of drop-in advice services across the borough in partnership with Citizens Advice Lewisham. Please check www.lewisham.gov.uk/support for locations, days and timings.
Support for residents with utility bills
We’ll be starting a scheme where, if you’re a resident, you can apply for support towards food and utility bills – it’s likely to start in the winter months when your bills are likely to be higher, but we’re still confirming the details.
Support from central government
- more information on cost of living support from central government