Friday 17 November 2023

Important changes to the Household Support Fund in Coventry

Coventry City Council is making changes to the Household Support Fund (HSF), from 17 November.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced a grant, the Household Support Fund (HSF) to cover from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. This fund is designed to be used to support households in the most need due to financial hardship, particularly those who may not qualify for other types of government support.

From 1 April 2023 to 12 October 2023, we have supported 16,790 households by providing 93,656 individual awards for fuel, food, clothing and bedding, household appliances and household furniture.

The scheme has evolved during this time and further changes will be made with effect from 11 December to ensure that we continue to provide essential support to households.

From 17 November 2023 at 4pm our Household Support Fund application form will be closed for a period of three weeks to support us in processing existing applications.  During this time, we will continue to maintain an application process for those people in need of food support.

On 11 December 2023, we will reopen the application process which will incorporate the latest scheme revisions. 

Changes planned to HSF

Fuel/energy/water support

Households who are in receipt of Department of Work and Pension Benefits and will have received the Cost of Living payment, will not be eligible to apply for this support.

The Cost of Living payment would normally be paid to people in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Please read further information about the Cost of Living payment.

We will continue to accept applications for those who are not eligible for the cost-of-living payment.

Any awards made for fuel/energy/water will continue to be paid as two payments per application. Only one application can be made in a 4-week period.

Food support

In order to support our customers with improved food choice, we will be introducing a new change from 11 December 2023 where we will provide three emergency food parcels per household to help with any immediate need. After this time Coventry City Council will work with the Coventry Food Network, which leads the city’s voluntary agencies with food provision, to support our customers to explore longer-term options through engagement with a Community Supermarket. For a period of up to 8 weeks, the Council will offer subsidised food support, with a good variety of food choices.

To take advantage of the Community Supermarket our customers will be required to pay a £5 weekly membership. This will enable them to receive food of their choice once per week up to the value of £25. This food provision contains a range of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and other protein foods, tinned and dried goods, dairy, and baked items.

Household appliances and furniture

This support will no longer be available for our customers to apply for themselves, however we will continue to accept applications from a small network of trusted referrers and social care colleagues.

Household appliances and furniture will be considered where there is exceptional need only, some examples of this might include:

  • Where a household member has care needs that may require the support of another person to meet daily living tasks
  • Where a household member has a serious health condition and the provision of this support would alleviate or maintain these needs
  • Where there is a risk to a child’s wellbeing
  • Where there is a severe relationship breakdown impacting the living situation of an applicant.

Clothing and bedding support

Households will continue to be able to apply for support every six months, awards will be for a maximum of £75 per adult and £45 per child.

The changes to the Household Support Fund are essential to ensure that we can continue to support people who are in the greatest need in our city. There are lots of other sources of support available from many different organisations which are summarised on the Cost of Living and Wellbeing support page.

Customer Services

Open 9am–5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). If you do need to call us, please try to avoid our busiest times of lunchtime and early afternoon. Many queries relating to Council Tax, benefits or bin and bulky waste collections can be dealt with directly by logging into My Account.

Telephone: 08085 834333