Household Support Fund Newcastle: what is the government support, how do I apply online, and who is eligible?

Here is everything you need to know about the Household Support Fund extension following Rishi Sunak’s spring.

With the UK seeing one of the sharpest rises in the cost of living, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak has revealed plans to ease the increase for those who are struggling financially.

In his spring statement on 23 March, Sunak addressed the House of Commons announcing that he is doubling the Household Support Fund from £500m to £1b, in order to give local authorities the support they need to help the people in their area.

What is the Household Support Fund?

The Household Support Fund was originally announced by the government in 2021.

The fund was created to help families, and support them financially throughout the winter months when household facilities generally see an increase in cost.

The fund was originally £500million, and was expected to run from October 2021 to March 2022.

Rishi Sunak announced that this scheme would be extended saying: “I want to do more to help our most vulnerable households with rising costs.”

Mr. Sunak added: “They need targeted support. So I am also doubling the Household Support Fund to £1 billion.”

According to Newcastle Council website the first funding allocations were fully approved on 29 November 2021.

The Newcastle City council website states that it received almost £2.9 million from the Government’s new Household Support Fund to support vulnerable households and individuals.

This support was allocated to fund:

  • Food vouchers in the school holidays for children entitled to free school meals 
  • Utility payments for families who receive free school meals on a targeted approach 
  • Utility payments for singles/couples without children, currently in receipt of council tax support and universal credit on a targeted approach 
  • Hardship payments for food and or utility bills for others who were in significant financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19 and had not already received a payment for Household support, through an application process. 

Who is eligible?

The criteria for who is eligible for the fund varies and is determined by each individual council.

While the Newcastle City Council has yet to release their eligibility requirements after the recent extension announcement, the UK Government website offers a general list of requirements to decipher eligibility:

Parents or carers whose children are in receipt of free school meals are invited to apply for a one off £50 payment for support with their utility payments.

In most areas at least half the available funding will go to families with children, and the remaining allocated money will go to those without - including those who live alone.

You can check with the Newcastle City Council by calling them on 0191 278 7878.

How can I apply for the fund?

At the moment the Newcastle City Website still states that applications for the fund are closed. However, you can contact your local council directly to find out further information on this.

You can find out which council you should be contacting by using the Government’s website and entering your postcode.