Town hall has hardship support to give away

Islington Council launches targeted £1 million Hardship Fund to help thousands ‘struggling to cope’ in cost of living crisis

By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

The shadow of a hand reaching out on a brick wall
Photo by Fardin Khan on Unsplash

People struggling with bills are urged to apply for grants from a £500,000 pot of money from the town hall.

Islington council opened its £1m hardship fund with grants of £250 for rents back in April. It has had to extend the orginal deadline in the spring as so far it has given out around £508,000. Overall it planned to give grants to 2,500 renters.

The scheme aims to help renters on low incomes with very little savings to buffer them against rising costs.

It comes on top of the 95% council tax discount for 26,000 of the worst-off households.

It has paid £166,250 in the one-off grants given to people who applied as well as £301,750 in targeted grants to people the council already knew were in need.

The scheme aims to help working renters on low incomes, with a household income of £50,000 or less, with very little savings of £5,000 or less to buffer them against rising costs.

The council has now widened the scheme to appeal to more people and said that some people who have already applied and were turned down could now be eligible.

People on Universal Credit and housing benefit and those who live in flatshares or houses of multiple occupation can now apply.

Mature students aged 25+ could also benefit.

The council is contacting nearly 2,800 residents on Universial Credit or housing benefit to invite them to check if they are now eligible for the one-off grant.

The fund will close once all the remaining money is given out.

Applicants must provide proof of the rent they pay, the most recent bank statement detailing of the savings of every household member and their earnings.

The council aims to process applications within ten working days and will pay money directly into people’s bank accounts.

People can contact the council on 0207 527 8222 or [email protected] if they need help completing their application.

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