Help and support for Winter 2021.
Below is a list of help, support and grants that will are or will be available to help people as we head into the colder winter months. Please do get in touch with my office if you need help, support or have an enquiry around this.
Tel: 02392 375377
Homelessness Prevention Grant – Winter 2021
Portsmouth has been allocated £1,415,103 through the Government Homelessness Prevent Grant scheme.
The £310 million Homelessness Prevention Grant combines and increases what was previously the Flexible Homelessness Support Grant and Homelessness Reduction Grant. In 2021-22 we have combined these two funding streams and increased them by £47 million, giving local authorities more control and flexibility in managing homelessness pressures and supporting those who at risk of homelessness.
In our review of the Homelessness Reduction Act we committed to reviewing the new burdens funding associated with the Act. This review has been completed and is reflected in the £310 million allocated for the Homelessness Prevention Grant.
In October 2021, we announced an exceptional one-off £65 million winter top-up to the Homelessness Prevention Grant that will be made available to local authorities in 2021-22. The additional funding will support local authorities to help vulnerable households with rent arrears to reduce the risk of them being evicted and becoming homeless, including helping households to find a new home where necessary.
COVID rent arrears financial support
A one-off £65 million will be made available to local authorities in 2021/22 through the Homelessness Prevention Grant. The additional funding will support local authorities to help vulnerable households with rent arrears to reduce the risk of them being evicted and becoming homeless, including helping households to find a new home where necessary. Local authorities will target this funding to those who need it most and help them to get back on their feet. Contact my office f you need help around this.
The details of allocations to Portsmouth £296,715
The additional £65 million investment builds on the £310 million in funding already available to local authorities through the Homelessness Prevention Grant - a £47 million uplift on last year to help fully enforce the Homelessness Reduction Act.
This funding will build upon the success in tackling homelessness and rough sleeping with the number of families in temporary accommodation now at the lowest level since 2016 and a 37% decrease in rough sleeping recorded in the 2020 Annual Rough Sleeping Snapshot.
Household Support Fund
£421 million to help vulnerable families in England with essentials over the coming months, which will be distributed by councils to those who need it most, including for example, through small grants to meet daily needs such as food, clothing, and utilities.
Discretionary Housing Payments and Universal Credit
Further support is also available to renters through the welfare system. This includes £140 million in Discretionary Housing Payments funding, which is available for local authorities this financial year to distribute to support renters with housing costs.
Age UK: Keeping well this winter
Age UK have provided several guides to help support older people this winter, especially in keeping healthy, how to access the Flu jab and how to make sure your home is warm and insulated. Alongside their guides, they also provide support through their free advice line on 0800 055 6112. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year.
Please visit the following link for more information: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/keep-well-this-winter/stay-healthy-in-winter/
Winter Fuel Allowance
If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
You will get your Winter Fuel Payment automatically (you do not need to claim) if you’re eligible and either:
get the State Pension
get another social security benefit (not Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit)
Warm Homes Discount
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. It’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March.
You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out. The discount will not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.