Extra support confirmed for vulnerable residents of Leeds over winter

Leeds City Council has announced its plans for £7.1m of funding from the government’s Household Support Fund.

The funding enables councils to help vulnerable people with the cost of food, fuel and essential items over the winter months and must be spent by March 2022.

The Council plans to set aside £2.6m of its funding for children and young people, with free meals expected to be provided for the approximately 38,000 children estimated to live in poverty in the city during Christmas 2021 and February 2022 holidays.

The funding will also be used to provide meal vouchers for children up to the age of four living in low-income households and care leavers on low incomes.

Up to £2.41m of the funding will also be used to support families in receipt of Council Tax Support with the costs of fuel and essential household bills, in recognition of the rising costs of energy bills.

A further £1.5m will be spent on welfare support for vulnerable and low-income households, including assistance from the Leeds Welfare Support Scheme for food, fuel and essential items, and additional financial support for residents identified as being in hardship.

£190,000 will also be spent on supporting charities and food aid providers to deliver food, fuel and essential items.

girl eating cereal in white ceramic bowl on table

Cllr Mary Harland, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said: ‘This year remains incredibly difficult for many of our most vulnerable residents and we are committed to supporting them through the coming winter period. This funding is incredibly valuable but it is not enough to provide long term solutions for our residents living in poverty. We have distributed it carefully in order to provide maximum support to those who need it the most. Anyone in need of emergency support should continue to get in touch through the local welfare support scheme so that we can help.’

Cllr Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for learning, skills and employment, added: ‘It’s a sad fact that many families struggle to provide food for their children during school holidays and we are committed to helping them wherever we can. Many families have also recently been hit by the removal of the £20 Universal Credit uplift and, while the Household Support Fund is welcome, it is important to remember that it does not replace this and that many families will need more help than ever before to pay for the essentials this winter.’

Photo by Providence Doucet


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