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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Covid-19: Other issues  →  Thread

£500 million support fund - are there any details?

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Melin Homes
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Money Advice Melin Homes

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Hi
Not really it doesnt. Im looking for the policy provision where Wales’s allocations are made, ie
Where are the money been allocated?
Who was it allocated too?
What is the spending provision?
How to access the monies?
Who is responsible?

I cannot see to find any documentation anywhere regarding this?

Keith S Adviser
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Kirkham CAB

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Following my previous post, I thought raising a question with the distributing authority would shine some light on the issue and I have received a helpful response, as below:

We have already made one decision regarding the use of the fund, this was taken as an
urgent decision, to facilitate the distribution of vouchers to free school meals eligible children
within the county for the current October half term. We have worked with schools to facilitate
the distribution of the vouchers which provide vouchers to the value of £15 for each eligible
child, totalling circa £590k. This approach is in line with many other councils.
We are also working on further options for the use of the fund, some of which will be
considered by the county council’s Cabinet on 4 November 2021. These will include
confirming provision of vouchers for free school meals eligible children for the Christmas
and February half term holidays. It is also proposed that £3m of the fund will be distributed
to Lancashire district councils to be used via their district support hubs on support that is
consistent with the fund conditions. We are broadly applying the Department for Work and
Pensions model in deciding on individual allocations to districts, as these reflect relative
need and also population size. We expect that the district hubs will have a process for
individual applications for funding support.
I should add that further measures are being worked on and will be subject to individual
decisions when the details have been finalised. I hope that this information has been of
assistance to you.

Gareth Morgan
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CEO, Ferret, Cardiff

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Today’s letter from the minister

The announcement by UK Government of the £500m Household Support Fund acknowledges that too many people will be unable to make ends meet this winter. We recognise that the £25m allocated to Wales from the fund is a derisory amount, and will in no way make up for the money that has been lost by hundreds of thousands of families across Wales. However, the Minister for Social Justice will announce how the Welsh Government intends to use this funding in the most efficient way possible in the coming weeks.  The funding will provide a boost to our existing package of support for those who have been most impacted by this brutal cut to their household income

Vonny
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Welfare rights adviser - Social Inclusion Unit, Swansea

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Melin Homes - 01 November 2021 01:08 PM

Hi
Not really it doesnt. Im looking for the policy provision where Wales’s allocations are made, ie
Where are the money been allocated?
Who was it allocated too?
What is the spending provision?
How to access the monies?
Who is responsible?

I cannot see to find any documentation anywhere regarding this?

The info I provided came from an email to daf partner organisations, the insufficient money (as quoted by gareth) has been allocated to daf and can be accessed in the usual way to claim an emergency assistance payment but add in the application that the crisis is due to the end of the UC ‘uplift’

I appreciate finding info about daf can be hard, is your organisation a daf partner?

UB40
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Debt Advice + Community Money Advice Launceston

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Here is an extract from North Devon’s HSF.

        “We know that sudden unexpected costs can create real challenges for residents who are experiencing financial hardship. The Devon Household Support Fund is available to provide rapid short-term financial support to meet immediate needs and help those who are struggling to afford food, energy and water bills, and other related essentials this winter.

Through the Household Support Fund, assistance is available for the following needs:

Food - This can be in the form of food parcels or supermarket vouchers
Energy and Water - Assistance towards energy bills for any form of fuel that is used for the purpose of domestic heating, cooking or lighting (including those on gas and/or electric meters) or water bills used for drinking, washing, cooking, sanitary purposes and sewerage
Essentials linked to Energy and Water - This can include sanitary products, warm clothing, blankets, boiler servicing or repair, repairing or replacing essential appliances and/or white goods including Fridges, Freezers, Ovens, Washing Machines etc.
Wider Essentials - This can include help towards support with other bills that cannot be deferred (such as phone/broadband bills, transport-related costs (such as vehicle repair, paying for fuel or even purchasing a bicycle) or clothing (such as formal wear for job interviews etc.) “

Gareth Morgan
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CEO, Ferret, Cardiff

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Welsh government tweet this morning- ‘We’re providing £51m to help families with the growing cost of living.

This includes support for foodbanks and a one-off £100 cash payment to help eligible families with energy bills.

Find out about our Household Support Fund live at 12pm with Finance Minister ‘

Gareth Morgan
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A new £51m package of support will help families facing the cost-of-living crisis to pay their bills this winter, Welsh Ministers announced today.

The Welsh Government is releasing extra funding from its reserves to target support towards lower income households, providing immediate support for people facing rising living costs this winter.

The first phase of the Household Support Fund will target heating and eating – providing families with extra help to pay their energy bills over the winter and giving extra funding to foodbanks and community food schemes.

It comes as the UK Government has refused to reverse the cut of its £20 Universal Credit lifeline for tens of thousands of families and the Bank of England is warning inflation will rise to 5% by the spring, pushing prices even higher.

Rebecca Evans, Minster for Finance and Local Government said:

“Families across Wales are facing a real cost-of-living crisis thanks to rising prices and cuts to key benefit payments.

“To help tackle these unprecedented challenges, we are making £51m available to develop our own bespoke Household Support Fund to help with some of the costs families are facing.

“Where Westminster has failed to support families, the Welsh Government will step in and back our communities through this challenging period.”
Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, has outlined the first measures, which will be funded.

More than £38m will be made available through a Winter Fuel Support Scheme for households in receipt of working age means-tested benefits.

Eligible households will be able to claim a one-off £100 cash payment. It will be available to all eligible energy customers regardless of whether they pay for their fuel on a pre-payment or a credit meter.

More than £1.1m has also been provided to support and bolster foodbanks, community food partnerships and community hubs. This will help them address food poverty, food insecurity and provide a wider range of services to help people and families maximise their income. It includes the extension of the successful Big Bocs Bwyd project to a further 25 schools.

Ms Hutt said:

“We are very worried the cost-of-living crisis, coming so close to Christmas, will force families to turn to high-cost lenders or illegal loan sharks to help make ends meet

“This fund will help raise awareness of the alternatives out there which can help.

“Most of the powers to address this cost-of-living crisis lie in the UK Government’s hands but we want to do everything we can to help families through this winter.

“We will support you, your families, your businesses and your community through these unprecedented times.”
Further announcements about the Household Support Fund will be made in the coming weeks.

shawn mach
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UB40
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There seems to a lot of variation in ” generosity “. Cornwall’s HSF has not yet been signed off by cabinet but will be restricted to food vouchers and fuel topups.
Across the Devon border clients are receiving ....”.warm clothing, blankets, boiler servicing or repair, repairing or replacing essential appliances and/or white goods including Fridges, Freezers, Ovens, Washing Machines etc.-Wider Essentials - This can include help towards support with other bills that cannot be deferred (such as phone/broadband bills, transport-related costs (such as vehicle repair, paying for fuel or even purchasing a bicycle) or clothing (such as formal wear for job interviews etc.) “

Paul Stockton
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Epping Forest CAB

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Essex County Council has spent about 8% of its allocation on free school meal vouchers for the half term break. A decision on the rest should be made any day now.

Keith S Adviser
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Kirkham CAB

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The latest response from one local Council in the North West, Currently we do not have anything in place for the Household Support fund as we are awaiting more information and are currently in the process of implementing this.

If any financial assistance is required currently, we would advise to go forward with the discretionary scheme.

The disjointed and somewhat contradictory responses are looking more like a copy Viz, as opposed to a joint approach to alleviate poverty.