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Harrow Council to support vulnerable households this summer

Some £1.47 million of the Government’s Housing Support Fund will go to Harrow residents this summer.

  • Free School Meal vouchers for an estimated 6,000 children throughout the six-week summer holidays
  • £105 one-off payment to 4,690 pensioners on Council Tax Support
  • £200 one-off payment to vulnerable households in emergency accommodation
  • £85,000 to help the most vulnerable in rent arrears on a case by case basis
  • £135,000 for the Harrow Community Hub, ensuring it continues to provide food support until at least March 2023

Harrow Council has confirmed how it will distribute the £1.47million summer tranche of the Government’s Housing Support Fund in the borough, focusing on vulnerable households with children and pensioners on Council Tax Support.

The allocated grant must be dispensed by 30 September 2022 and Harrow is keen to distribute the money as quickly as possible as the cost of living concerns increase.

The council already allocated free school meal vouchers during May half-term in anticipation of the funds being released; this was one of the first decisions made by the new council administration.

These payments will be in addition to the other support that the government will be paying directly over the coming months.

Cllr Stephen Greek, Cabinet Member for Performance, Communications & Customer Experience said:

“We’ve considered how best we can put our residents first, and help those most in need during these challenging times. We are providing support to as many people as possible whilst ensuring that the help is not spread too thinly. It is vital that we get this money out to where it is most needed.”

At least one-third of the money must be used to support households with children, and Harrow will use it to provide Free School Meal vouchers, £3 a day per child, distributed through the existing school systems.

One-third of the money must be used to support pensioners, and Harrow will use it to provide a £105 payment to the most vulnerable pensioners in receipt of Council Tax Support.

These will be paid by Post Office vouchers, which can be used against energy/utility bills or for food.

The remainder of the cash must be used to support other vulnerable households and Harrow will use it to support the Help Harrow Community Hub with a £135,000 grant.

The Hub is a joint venture with the voluntary and community sector, which has already proved effective in providing essential food support quickly and effectively to any vulnerable household.

Around £85,000 will be used to support households in rent arrears to help stop problems spiralling into acute difficulties, avoid court action and secure their tenancy.

More details are on Harrow Council’s website here and will be promoted through My Harrow and Harrow People as well as direct engagement with eligible groups, particularly the elderly.

Published: 28th June 2022