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Ealing Council calls on government to extend Household Support Fund and sets up petition for residents to sign

Ealing Council and its leader Councillor Peter Mason is calling on the government to extend the Household Support Fund (HSF) which it says has allowed it to support residents in the borough with food, warm spaces and one-off payments for essential items as well as local charities helping residents with the cost of living crisis.

The current funding runs until 31 Match 2024 and Ealing Council has joined with other councils and organisations across the country calling on the government to extend it. It has now set up a petition to extend the HSF for residents to sign in the run up to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s spring budget which is set to be unveiled on 6 March 2024.

The Labour-run council says the support it has been offering to residents through the HSF would stop as it could not cover the funding cost.

According to Ealing Council, over this winter it has used £5.3m of HSF money for the following:

  • Gave food vouchers to 2,250 households receiving council tax relief or housing benefit
  • Gave food vouchers to 2,200 households who receive care at home
  • Gave holiday food vouchers to 17,000 households – including 14,400 households with school age children and 1,200 households with children under 5
  • Gave food vouchers to 339 young people in care
  • Supported local charities with £200,000 to provide advice and support to residents
  • Paid £300,000 in one-off payments to help residents with essential purchases

Councillor Peter Mason said: “In late 2021, the government launched HSF in response to the cost of living crisis. This money helps councils support those most impacted. The provision of the HSF has been a lifeline for those who need the most help but, as things stand, this fund will end on Sunday 31 March and the government has not yet confirmed if the fund will be extended beyond this date.”

He added: “We, at Ealing Council, are urging the government to extend the HSF so that we can continue to provide food, warm spaces, and one-off payments for essential items for residents, and so that we can also continue to support local charities providing vital services to residents struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.”

“There is a real risk of many households falling through the gaps into crisis if this support is stopped, and there will likely be even more demand on our services.

“We’ve set up a petition for residents, faith leaders, charities, and community groups to sign, urging the government to think again. Please show your support for those in our community who need our help the most and lend your support to our campaign.”

To sign the petition, click here.

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