£2.1m of targeted support to Shropshire residents to help with cost of living
A new package of measures has been created by Shropshire Council to support vulnerable and low income households in the county as part of its cost of living support offer.
This follows the council receiving £2.1 million in Household Support Grant funding from the Government to cover the winter period to the end of March 2023.
The funding has been split up to provide targeted help to a range of households likely to be most impacted by the rising cost of living.
- A one-off £180 payment to around 5,250 households on low incomes, who have not previously received support through the council’s Household Support Fund, that fall into one of the following categories:-
- Housing benefit only claimants (not in receipt of council tax support)
- Housing benefit claimants on legacy benefits in receipt of council tax support (not Universal Credit)
- Housing benefit working families in receipt of council tax support.
This payment will be issued directly to those who meet these criteria by the council where we hold bank details. Other identified households will be invited to apply. We aim to have paid or contacted all eligible residents before Christmas.
This will account for just over £1 million of the fund.
- Free School Meals. Children in receipt of benefits-related free school meals in Shropshire will continue to receive support, usually through meal vouchers, during the school holidays until the end of the spring term 2023. This would benefit around 7,500 children, who will get an equivalent to £15 a week of support during the four weeks of school holidays, including Christmas. This will account for around £450,000 of the fund. If you’re on a low income and you think you could be eligible for free school meals, visit https://shropshire.gov.uk/free-school-meals/
- Welfare Support Fund. £300,000 to provide support to low income households who are most in need of help with food, energy and water bills, and with other wider essential costs. This is then used alongside other funds they have available to help. To find out how to apply for the council’s Local Welfare Support Fund visit https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/shropshire-council/welfare-support-team-local-welfare-provision/
- Keeping Warm at Home fund – a range of initiatives to help low-income households in debt with energy costs and grants to help reduce energy costs. https://shropshire.gov.uk/private-sector-housing/affordable-warmth-and-energy-efficiency/ This will account for around £220,000 of the fund.
- A further £75,000 is helping to support a range of partners’ hardship grants.
Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for finance and corporate resources, and who is overseeing the council’s response to the cost of living, said:-
“We’re making sure this latest Household Support Funding is targeted to households on low incomes most in need, and in particular those who have yet to receive other support as part of our cost of living help.
“The council and a range of partners are doing a huge amount to help Shropshire residents with practical measures and support, which can be seen at our Cost of Living support pages.
“For example, the council and partners have come together to create Shropshire’s Warm Welcome at more than 50 locations across the county, where people worried about staying in a cold home can find a warm and friendly place to be during the day over the winter.”