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Cost of living help on way to Plymouth households

More than 34,000 Plymouth households are set to benefit from cost of living support thanks to the Household Support Fund.

Plymouth City Council has received more than £4.5 million of funding to use over the coming year to support residents affected by the cost of living crisis.

The funding will support those most likely to be affected including families, single adults and people with disabilities that are on low incomes, pensioners, care experienced young people, unpaid carers and people living in temporary accommodation. Priority will be given to those who are at most at risk of food or fuel poverty.

More than £1.7 million will be used to provide food vouchers during school holidays to families with children that are eligible for Free School Meals, to the value of £13 per child, per week. This includes this year’s summer holiday, May and October half-terms, Christmas holiday and February 2024 half-term.

£750,000 will also be distributed to eligible residents in the form of food and fuel vouchers and essential household goods via an application process with Citizens Advice Plymouth. This will be split between multiple rounds of funding, with the first round due to open in early July. Details will be shared on the Council’s website.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Housing, Cooperative Development and Communities, said: “Plymouth residents are struggling with the rising cost of living, we have just heard of ongoing double figure inflation in basic food stuffs. For many the very basics are becoming unaffordable, with many parents worrying about how they will feed their children in the school holidays. The fund will enable us to support vulnerable people of all ages, including those who fall through the gaps because they are exempt from benefits or other forms of support.

“Tackling the cost of living crisis is an absolute priority for us and the Council’s new administration has pledged to produce a Cost of Living action plan to ensure that we are offering as much support as possible to our residents as we navigate through these difficult times. These funds will be a part of that solution.”

Funding will be provided to other organisations including Plymouth Energy Community, Improving Lives Plymouth, P.A.T.H (Plymouth Access to Housing) and domestic abuse charities to support their service users and people referred to them.

To help residents struggling with debt, three advice worker roles have been funded for the next year with two based at Citizens Advice Plymouth and one at Plymouth Energy Community.

The fund will also help people living in supported and temporary accommodation with their energy costs, and people at risk of homelessness with the costs of food, utilities and essential furniture.

The Household Support Fund is provided by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Find more support on our Cost of Living online hub.