Household Support Fund
Support is available to households in Birmingham over the winter using funding from the government’s Household Support Fund. This Fund is to be spent or committed before 31 March 2022 and cannot be held over for future usage. Full details of Birmingham’s proposed use of this fund will be published soon.
In addition to targeting some of the fund to provide supermarket vouchers to families eligible for free school meals for the October half term and Christmas holiday periods distributed to by Birmingham schools to families, a new grant fund is now available to households in the most need with food, energy and water bills and wider essential costs. This grant fund is administered by Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC).
What support is availble through the grant fund and how to apply?
Grants may be applied for up to £150 per household.
As part of the application process individuals will be signposted to other support available to them in the locality such as: money and welfare advice, utility support, food bank/pantry and connect families into the local community resources to help families to be more resilient.
Vulnerable and in need households are able to claim up to £150 again after 6 weeks has passed since the first payment. These said households can only apply if they are known to services/ organisations and are working with them for support.
There are 5 categories of support which can be applied for:
- Essentials linked to gas/electricity/water costs
- Wider essentials
- Housing costs
Applications cannot exceed £150 in total.
Who is eligible?
The main eligibility criteria are Birmingham residency and facing financial hardship. This includes NRPF if facing destitution as per DWP guidance.
How to apply?
Applications must come through a verified community-based referral organisation.
Depending on the area, supporting organisations include: Age Concern Birmingham, Age UK Birmingham, Banardos, Compass Support, Disability Resource Centre, Gateway Family Services, GreenSquareAccord, Malachai, Northfield Community Partnership, POhWER, Spurgeons, Witton Lodge and Birmingham City Council.
Full details of the locality leads can be found below, along with a postcode checker.
Individuals wanting to access this fund, can contact their Locality Lead directly to discuss their support requirements.
How are grants paid?
Grant awards are paid directly into the applicant’s bank account. Where an applicant with no valid bank account / extreme emergency situations are identified (such as families fleeing domestic abuse). The lead organisation can make a payment direct to individual using in-house petty cash or voucher system (and is reimbursed by BVSC)
All applications aim to be paid within 72 hours.
All BACS payments are made directly by BVSC (financial administrator).
A number of the local lead organisations are holding remote information sessions over the coming days. Please see details below: