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Household Support Fund (HSF)

The household support fund has been provided by the UK Government to deliver support County Durham's most vulnerable households.

2024/25 scheme

We have been allocated £4.6 million to provide support to low income and vulnerable households who may be struggling with their energy and food costs, or who need other essential household items. Funding covers the period between 1 April 2024 to 30 September 2024 and is in addition to our fun and food that runs during the main school holidays.

Household Support Fund 5 (HSF5) is a type of discretionary support, rather than being a legal entitlement. This means that awards are subject to the scheme having available/remaining funding.

The funding is being allocated directly to eligible households or through partner organisations which include local charities and voluntary groups.

Examples of how the funding is being used:

  • A payment of £70 to eligible young people in education establishments in receipt of free school meals. You do not need to apply for this, and payments will be made by voucher through your education provider. Vouchers will be distributed by schools during July
  • Funding for local organisations to help residents with food and energy bill support
  • Support for Kinship Carers and Care Leavers - you do not need to apply for this support. The Kinship Carer and Care Leavers Team will communicate with you regarding payments.

Do I need to apply for HSF5

You will not normally need to apply, as you are either automatically identified or will access the support through a specific partner. If you have not received support through these routes, there may be help available through our application fund.

Application fund 

Households in receipt of Council Tax Reduction can apply for support from our application fund. The application fund is to support households on low income with the cost of replacing broken essential household goods eg cooker, fridge etc. We are unable to support with flooring costs. You may only apply for one item. The online application process will not process applications for food and/or fuel. If you require support with food and/or fuel, you must apply through our Welfare assistance scheme.

To be eligible for a payment you must meet all the following:

  • be a permanent resident in Durham County Council's area
  • be over the age of 16 and be responsible for the council tax liability
  • be in receipt of Council Tax Reduction
  • not have a child who is eligible for free school meals. If your child is in receipt of free school meals. You will receive a payment this financial year from the Household Support Fund as detailed above
  • be experiencing hardship
  • not have access to any savings over £1,000 (you will be asked to provide evidence once your application has been screened)
  • not be a care leaver or kinship carer - a separate scheme will support these groups
  • not have received a payment from the Household Support Fund from any other source

If you think that you may be eligible and have not been contacted, please complete our Household Support Fund 5 - Application Fund Application form.

If you are struggling to afford enough food please apply to our Welfare assistance scheme. The HSF5 online application will not accept referrals for food and/or fuel.

Our Help with your money page provides information on where to get help with your money, including family finances, food and household bills, housing, benefits and debt.

Other cost of living support

HSF5 is a small part of the overall support that the government is providing to households. Further information on the support available to help you with the cost of living, including income and disability benefits, bills and allowances, childcare, housing and travel can be found on the Government's cost of living hub Cost of living support.

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