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Council explains how Derby people can get Cost of Living help

today28 August 2022 2

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Derby City Council says it is committed to supporting the city’s most vulnerable people with the cost of living crisis set to deepen into uncharted waters. Energy bills are set to rise significantly from October this year and again in the New Year despite major increases already hitting people’s pockets within the past 12 months.

Recent reports state the cost of living crisis could see energy bills rise up to £5,000 a year from April 2023, and inflation rates are set to peak at a near 50-year high of 18.6 per cent early next year. Fears are mounting nationally on how the price rises will affect working people and those most vulnerable.

There are even discussions about community hubs being set up in parts of the UK to allow people to go to keep warm and help ease the pressure of their own bills. The Local Democracy Reporting Service approached Derby City Council to comment on the cost of living crisis and how it would support people.

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The authority said it is in regular talks with city partners to make help available to those who are struggling. The council pointed to its Single Discretionary Award Scheme and its Household Support Fund as ways of helping people through the financial crisis, with residents living in council homes urged to contact Derby City Council as soon as possible if they are struggling.

A spokesperson said: “We understand the pressures that people are feeling due to the rising cost of living and are committed to supporting our most vulnerable residents. People who need urgent financial support and meet eligibility criteria can apply for support from the Single Discretionary Award Scheme.

“Those eligible can get help with paying rent, council tax and essential items for the home. This scheme was first introduced in 2016 and updated in January 2021 so that financial assistance can reach those that need it more efficiently.

“In addition, since its launch on 30 May, the Household Support Fund has made 3,155 one-off payments totalling £331k for food or fuel for those receiving benefits who can demonstrate financial hardship. The scheme is available until 30 September 2022 or until funding is fully used.

“For children in families that receive benefits-related free school meals, there is also the Derby Holiday Activity and Food Programme, which provides free activities and meals during school holidays.

“Our advice to Derby Home tenants is always the same: if you are struggling financially, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. Our Energy Advice and Money Advice teams offer free advice and support, including information about Government hardship funds that can be applied to.”

More information about the Household Support Fund can be found online.

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