Islington Council has opened applications for its targeted £1million Hardship Fund to help thousands of residents struggling to make ends meet.
The fund, launched today (30 March), has been designed to help two specific groups, totalling more than 3,800 households, who will all receive one-off grants of £250.
The first group is working households with an income that only just lifts them out of most benefit entitlement and other financial support, but is simply not enough to make ends meet as the cost of living crisis bites. Applications are open now to any household meeting certain criteria, and the money will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis with 2,500 grants available in total.
The second group is made up of more than 1,300 households receiving certain benefits that were not eligible for any previous cost of living support payments, through no fault of their own. These households have already been identified by the council and £250 will be paid directly to them. This group includes tenants in council, housing association, temporary and privately rented accommodation.
The council’s Hardship Fund is a further boost to its substantial existing safety net to create a more equal Islington, which is already shielding the borough’s most vulnerable households from the worst effects of the cost of living crisis.
Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Executive Member for Finance, Planning and Performance, said: “We are determined to do everything we can to make Islington a more equal place and protect people from the worst effects of the cost of living crisis, which shows no sign of easing.
“Inflation has risen yet again and the strain on many household budgets just to cover the basics – food, energy bills and rent – is incredible. We have worked hard to protect and enhance the support that is there for households on benefits and other vulnerable people, but we know a large number of others haven’t received any extra help and are on the brink of disaster.
“We won’t stand by and allow this crisis to squeeze even more people into homelessness or desperation, so we’re launching the Hardship Fund as a way to help thousands more Islington families and vulnerable people to cope. They can put the one-off £250 grant towards paying a rent bill, or save themselves from having to choose between keeping their family warm or putting food on the table.
“The funds for low-income working households are limited, and only available to those who meet the criteria – so apply now.”
To be eligible for a Hardship Fund payment, applicants must meet certain criteria. Among other things they must be employed and live in a household with a total annual income of less than £50,000 before tax, and with total household savings of less than £5,000.
Applications to The Hardship Fund are open now. Applications will begin to be processed on Monday, 3 April, and the scheme will close once all funds have been allocated or on 30 April, whichever is sooner. For more information, full details on eligibility and to apply, visit islington.gov.uk/hardshipfund