Monday 15 July 2024
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Cost of living payments revealed for certain Nottinghamshire residents

A winter fund totalling more than £5.6m is being released to help some of the most financially vulnerable people in Nottinghamshire cope with the cost of living crisis.

It means thousands of households will get £100 payments to help with food, energy bills and other costs.

Conservative-led Nottinghamshire County Council has published papers outlining how the multi-million-pound Household Support Fund will be distributed.

The funding is part of nationwide support being distributed by the Government but handed out and administered by local councils.

Families with children eligible for or claiming free school meals will continue to receive support, alongside pensioners claiming pension credit.

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Both groups have been also supported in previous phases of the fund.

But now the council has revealed financial help will also be provided to people identified as “needing immediate support” with the cost of living crisis.

This includes households who are not eligible for Government support packages including energy support schemes, cost of living payments, disability payments and one-off pensioner payments.

The scheme, originally launched during the pandemic to help struggling families, has already handed out more than £11m in Government-provided support across Nottinghamshire.

This came in two previous rounds of £5,646,450, with the authority expecting the same amount in the third round this winter.

Families eligible or in receipt of free school meals will receive a share of £2m, with 20,000 households including 30,000 children identified as in need of support.

These households may include multiple children claiming free school meals, with each home to receive £100 in grants from the authority.

Homes with at least one person of pensionable age who is either eligible for, or in receipt of, pension credit, will also receive a £100 grant from the authority.

The council has identified 15,500 homes eligible for this support, with £1.55m allocated for these grants.

And a further 15,364 homes have been identified as needing “immediate support” with the cost of living crisis.

These homes will also be given a £100 grant from the authority, totalling £1.5364m.

The authority is also allocating £30,000 for each of the seven district and borough councils to be spent supporting people at risk of becoming homeless.

Cash will be given to each council for discretionary housing payments targeted at residents at risk of losing their homes, with the authority saying “demand for such support has increased”.

The remaining £350,000 will be spent on administration costs between the county council and the seven district and borough authorities, taking the total support fund to £5.6m.

In a report, Derek Higton, service director for place and communities at the county council, said: “The proposed approach provides targeted support to two types of households identified as being in most immediate need.

“Those with children eligible for free school meals, and those households with pensioners eligible for pension credit.

“The third group, which is those assessed by professionals as needing immediate support, provides the opportunity to give support to those households who are not eligible for other government support with cost of living issues but also are in need.

“Discretionary housing payments are an extremely useful way that partners can directly support households at risk of homelessness.

“The demand for such support has increased, but the budgets of housing authorities have decreased.”

Councillor John Cottee (Con), portfolio holder for communities, will approve the fund allocation during a delegated decision on Friday (October 7).

It will then be distributed to eligible households throughout the winter, with no dates for the fund’s distribution provided at this stage by the authority.

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