Vulnerable residents in Nottinghamshire can now apply for financial support during the winter months.
The Household Support Fund (HSF) was launched by Nottinghamshire County Council in November after it was allocated £5.6m from the Department for Work and Pensions to help those most in need as the journey out of the Covid-19 pandemic continued.
Up to £2.3m of the funding was allocated to provide vouchers for up to 27,500 children during school holidays until the end of March.
When the scheme was rolled out, the county council – in partnership with district and borough councils as well as professionals from designated organisations – worked to identify households and individuals who were in most need of help.
However, to speed up the process of support, the county council has now opened the HSF for residents to apply directly for financial assistance without the need to be referred through a professional.
The move means additional staff resource will be utilised on a short-term basis to help with the delivery of the funding before the scheme closes on 31 March.
Councillor John Cottee, chairman of the county council’s Communities Committee, said: “We recognise that a significant number of residents and households across Nottinghamshire have experienced immense difficulties throughout the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Therefore, I sincerely hope speeding up the process of how we provide support to people most in need by enabling them to make an application directly to the Household Support Fund, will help to alleviate some of the financial worries they are currently facing.
“I would urge any individual, or household, who believes they are eligible for this welcome financial support to complete and submit an application form as soon as they can.”
Under the scheme, vouchers cover essential household costs such as food, energy, and water bills.
Initially, eligible households received a maximum of four vouchers covering different categories of support up until 31 March – which included one voucher for food, two for energy, and one for water.
However, the county council has now increased the maximum number of vouchers from four to six per household – with an additional two for energy.
It means the revised value for individual vouchers is:
– a household with one person – £60
– a household with two people – £120
– a household with three or more people – £180
– a maximum of four vouchers for £49 each per household – 4 x £49
– the value of the voucher for water will be £80 per household – £80
Residents can find out more about the Household Support Fund and how to apply for financial support via Household Support Fund | Nottinghamshire County Council.