In a letter from Cllrs Lewis and Harland to the Chancellor, Leeds City Council has called for an extension to the Household Support Fund post March 2024 and outlined some of the impacts the funding has had for many of the most vulnerable households within Leeds.

Forum Central is a deliver partner of the fund in Leeds and also supports an extension to the fund. We have been working closely with Leeds City Council and Voluntary Action Leeds, among other partners to distribute grants to third sector organisations in Leeds to ensure it reaches the people in greatest need.

Leeds City Council has expressed sincere thanks for all of the work being undertaken by delivery partners in respect of the distribution of the current round of Household Support Fund here in Leeds. Leeds City Council are aware of multiple examples of the positive impact the funding is having for vulnerable residents across the city.

In the letter Leeds City Council states:

“We acknowledge that the Fund was introduced as a time-limited measure. However, the financial pressures on low-income households within our city remain acute. Many are struggling to cover rising mortgage, rent and energy costs and the continued rise in food prices has further constrained household budgets. In Leeds, the HSF provides vital support to individuals and families, enabling them to heat their homes, feed themselves, remain housed, access advice services and remain active in the community and wider economy.”

They go on to highlight positive partnerships and progress made during these challenging times:

“Leeds is an ambitious city with a longstanding mission to achieve inclusive growth by tackling poverty and inequality and improving the quality of life for everyone. Over the last decade, despite challenging conditions, the city has seen economic growth, which has been underpinned by stable leadership and outstanding partnership working with public, private and statutory organisations in the city, as well as with our diverse, thriving voluntary and community sector.and goes on to say”

Then, the importance of the Household support fund is reiterated:

“Quite simply, there is no means of replicating the HSF budget over the course of the next year to provide the current level of support to households with needs relating to food, fuel and other essentials despite acknowledged and ongoing cost-of-living pressures. With all this in mind, terminating the HSF will leave our most vulnerable residents without the means to meet their basic needs. This in turn, will likely push more families and households into financial insecurity and poverty, necessitating targeted support from local services without the budget or means to fulfil this role.”

Alongside the letter, a briefing paper has been produced and shared:

The briefing paper gives further details of the funding; its impact and likely consequences of the loss of the Household Support Fund for the city, which represents £14.2 million, if it is not renewed in April.

We are assured that Leeds City Council are monitor information stemming from central government around the Household Support Fund and if we become aware of any further announcements, we will update you as soon as possible.

If you have any queries about the document or letter, please get in touch [email protected].