Household Support Fund

The Household Support Fund is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions to local authorities is intended to support low-income households with the cost of food, utilities and related costs and essential goods.

The government released a fourth round of funding from April 2023 to March 2024. 

If you are not a resident of the London Borough of Harrow, contact your local council for details of their scheme 

Applications to the Fund

Citizens Advice Harrow are managing some of the Fund on our behalf via an application scheme. Supermarket vouchers of £200 will be issued to residents who meet the eligibility criteria.

Please note, Harrow’s Hardship Fund will be redirected via this application scheme until the 31st March 2024 which is the duration of this grant period for the Household Support Fund.

To qualify for a payment, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Is a Harrow resident 
  • Has not received a cost-of-living payment from the Government in 2023
  • Must be liable for energy/fuel costs for the property in which they live
  • Need support with meeting their day to day living expenses including food and utility bills, as evidenced by 3-months of bank statements
  • Has not received an award from the Household Support Fund application scheme in the last 6 months
  • Is willing to comply with any reasonable conditions concerning the payment award, including for example, receiving support from advice agencies

How to apply

Applications are currently open, whilst funds remain. Funds are limited and this scheme will close when they have been allocated or when this funding period ends, no later than 31st March 2024. Not everyone who applies will receive a payment, but we do our best to support as many people as possible. 

To apply for this scheme please contact Citizens Advice Harrow:

Lines are open Monday & Tuesday 9:30am to 3:30pm & Thursday & Friday 9:30am to 1pm.

Food Support

Help Harrow provides residents with access to food supplies as well as advice and information, on topics such as energy, health, wellbeing and benefits. Help Harrow allows residents in need of food to make food requests online.  

To find out more about the services they provide visit Help Harrow’s website. 

Help Harrow will continue to operate Community Hubs across the borough. Many Community Hubs provide hot meals, exercise classes and are friendly places to meet and make friends. 

Find Community Hubs and spaces near you

School Holiday Vouchers

To support families and children, funding has been allocated to provide Free School Meals during school holidays. 

Free School Meal vouchers will be given to vulnerable households with children during the school holidays from April 2023 through to March 2024 and will include a top-up of £10 for the Christmas period.  

If you have a child aged between 5 and 18 attending a school in Harrow, find out if you qualify for Free School Meals. 

Proactive Support

In Autum 2023, payments will be made using supermarket vouchers provided by our partners Blackhawk. Eligible households will receive either an email or letter with a 16-digit, personalised code and instructions to redeem via the Blackhawk website. Be assured, this is a safe website and Blackhawk are a trusted partner of London Borough of Harrow. 

Vouchers can be redeemed in all major supermarkets and used to buy food and other essential items like clothes and toiletries.  

There is no need to apply for this support, vouchers will be sent to the below cohorts.  

Care Leavers

The first of these two vouchers was sent on the 18th October 2023. 

To be eligible for this support you must be a care leaver who is known to the London Borough of Harrow, and you must currently be receiving care leavers' services from Harrow’s social care teams.

If you are a care leaver and eligible under this criterion, you will be entitled to two supermarket vouchers, each worth £100.

These vouchers will be emailed to you. Care Leavers must ensure that their key worker has their current email address.

If you have any questions, please refer to the voucher FAQs. Alternatively, please complete the online contact form or call the free line 0800 587 2294. If you require further support, please reach out to your allocated Care Worker. 

Housing Benefit Recipients 

To be eligible for support your household must have an active Housing Benefit claim which is not in receipt of a benefit that qualifies the household for a low-income cost of living payment.

These vouchers will have a value of £200 and will be valid for 3 months and will be sent by post. 

Support and Advice

This grant will support the Conversation Café which provides information and advice to residents. 

Find out about other support on our Cost of living help pages including: 

  • money, debts, and benefits 
  • access to food 
  • housing 
  • support for children 
  • energy, water, phone, and broadband cost 

This scheme will run until no later than 31st March 2024. Once funds have been exhausted, no further payments will be made.   

Government Cost of Living Payment

The Household Support Fund is a separate payment to the Government’s Cost of Living Payments being administered directly by the Department for Work and Pensions.

If you're not sure if you received a Cost of Living Payment, check your bank statements for July, September, October and November 2022.

If you qualified for the payments, they will have been paid directly into the account your Benefit is usually paid into. 

If you did not receive the first £326 payment, but you believe you should have (because you met the eligibility criteria) you will need to discuss that with DWP directly, using their online form.

For more information about how the Government can support you with the rising cost of living, please visit the Government’s Cost of Living Hub.