Plea to government to keep Household Support Fund to help desperate families

Headshot of Cllr Pip Hazelton and Cllr Alan Baldock with illustration of groceries and letter bills

Desperate families need the money from the Household Support Fund (HSF) to keep afloat and ending the scheme this March will have devastating and real-life consequences.

That is the message from Canterbury City Council’s Leader Cllr Alan Baldock and Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Pip Hazelton in a letter to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott MP.

Cllr Baldock said: “The HSF has made a real difference to many households in Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and the surrounding villages. Its loss will be devastating and have real-life consequences.

“In our district, it has helped households keep their homes and stopped them going hungry; helped families heat their homes and buy warm coats for their children during the winter; spared people unnecessary stress when their ovens or washing machines have finally given up and allowed us to support the Canterbury Food Bank provide tens of thousands of food parcels as well as invaluable advice on the cost of living and welfare.”

Cllr Hazelton’s letter says the Low Income Family Tracker (LIFT) shows there are 10,299 low income households in our district with 5,886 children.

Of these 4,581 households with 2,716 children are below the poverty line.

Cllr Hazelton said: “There is an alarming increase in the number of families threatened with homelessness which is having a dramatic detrimental effect on their mental health.

“If people lose their homes, it puts tremendous strain on the council’s services.

“It would be a tremendous loss for tens of thousands of households – not only in our district but across the country – if the HSF is consigned to the dustbin of history.

“The cost of living crisis continues so it is essential that the government continues offering support to desperate and tired low-income households for as long as possible.”

Published: 26 January 2024

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