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Household Support Fund

Household Support Fund (HSF5)

The council has been allocated a further round of Household Support Fund Grant Funding (HSF) - called HSF5, by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to use between April 2024 and September 2024 to support some low income and vulnerable households facing defined cost of living pressures.

HSF5 support is being developed and will be made available in stages. This page will be updated as and when these offers become available.

HSF5 will provide a range of discretionary support rather than being legal entitlements and all awards are based on funding still being available.

Council HSF support - Automatic Payments

HSF support will be available in stages but most support will be provided automatically without households having to apply.

  • The council will again be making some payments to some low-income vulnerable households. Most payments will be made to adult social care users that receive personal budgets from Sunderland City Council (and that are not permanently resident in a care home) The payments should be made automatically before the end of August 2024 based on a data matching exercise using Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support records and adult social care records.

Households will not need to apply, as these payments are automatically identified, and payments sent. If you have not received support through this route and think that you may be eligible and have not been contacted, please contact the council from the end of August and complete a Household Support Fund Application.

  • The Council and Together for Children have again allocated HSF funding for free school meal vouchers to pupils eligible for means tested free school meals to cover the summer holiday period. Support will be worth £60 per pupil and will be distributed via their schools. The voucher will be in addition to a wide range of Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) provision across the city. HSF funding will also be used to boost the overall resources available for overall HAF/summer provision.

Council HSF application scheme (end June - end September 2024)

Households that are vulnerable struggling financially and in crisis and that are unable to meet the cost of energy/heating, food, or other essential bills, may be eligible for support under the councils HSF application scheme.

Applications can be made via the council and designated Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) providers. No applications can be made or will be accepted outside these periods.

This scheme will be open from the end of June until the end of September and details of eligibility criteria and how to apply will be uploaded closer to that time.

Only one application-based award can normally be made to a household between June 2024 and September 2024. All HSF Awards are also discretionary and not legal entitlements and will only be made while there is funding available to do so.

Other HSF funded support

The council is also providing additional support to a range of other organisations to directly support their own customers. This includes support for foodbanks/food aid providers to enable them to meet additional demands and supplement their existing offers.

The council is also providing extra funding for its Local Welfare Support Scheme to help it meet additional demands. This can assist vulnerable households' that are struggling financially under certain circumstances.

If you are struggling financially, vulnerable, and unable to meet your immediate needs, you may be eligible for support. 

  • Crisis Support may provide help with food where a foodbank is unable to help and fuel (only for prepayment meter customers) where you have experienced an unforeseen crisis or emergency
  • Community Care Support can, in certain circumstances, help with the costs of essential furniture and white goods when moving into a new home -or by exception - with replacement items

The council's Financial Wellbeing Support Hub and the Government's Cost of Living Hub include details of other cost of living support that is avaialble.


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