Household Support Fund

A Household Support Fund grant of £2,261,298 has been confirmed for Reading borough to provide cost of living support to households in the most need; particularly those who may not be eligible for the other support government has recently made available.

The grant is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions and is to be utilised between 1 April 2023 and the 31 March 2024.

Council officers are now in the process of developing a new scheme to ensure the most recently allocated funding gets to residents who need the most support during the on-going cost of living crisis. 

The Household Support Fund initiative has evolved since it was first introduced in December 2020 as the Covid Winter Grant.  At that time the fund was predominantly focused on provision of food support for families during school holidays.  Since then, what central Government require councils to focus spending the money on has greatly changed.  As the national cost of living crisis has worsened, the emphasis has changed to providing support for residents who have been worst impacted by the increase in energy costs and, specifically, to include households with older people in need of support.

As a result of these national changes, last year the council combined the energy and food voucher schemes into one Cost of Living voucher. This approach provided added flexibility to residents who could redeem their voucher for cash and choose how to use the funds according to their individual needs. 

More information on the support provided by the Government to residents struggling with the rising cost of living can be found in the Government’s Cost of Living Hub – Cost of Living Hub

Last updated on 17/05/2023