Camden commits to £2million Cost of Living Crisis Fund
Camden Council is stepping in to help residents least able to manage soaring energy bills and everyday costs with a £2million Cost of Living Crisis Fund.
Through the new fund, the Council will provide a payment of up to £500 to individual residents or families facing severe financial hardship who have no other source of monetary support available. The Council is specifically looking to help residents who cannot afford the essentials of food, heating, water and electricity or to pay their rent. Households in need will be able to receive a maximum of two £500 payments a year and those in greatest need will be prioritised.
The council and its partners will also aim to provide advice and support alongside the payment to help residents find a long-term solution to the challenges they face. This could include help finding training or a job, support with childcare, advice around money and debt and health and wellbeing support.
Camden’s services and its partners will be able to refer residents for the emergency payments from the end of September. Referrals could be made from social workers, neighbourhood housing officers, support workers, welfare rights teams, the Camden Advice Network, early help and family support and income collection teams. Camden Council is looking to extend the organisations who could make referrals over the next few months, which could include food bank partners and schools. The Council will also be doing outreach activity in the community.
“This is a really worrying time for our residents - those hit hardest could face extreme levels of poverty and hardship this winter.
“Camden Council and our partners are here to help residents struggling to manage. Over the past year, we’ve issued over 3,800 hardship payments to residents, totalling over £600,000, supported food banks and provided vouchers to 16,500 children and 7,000 pensioners.
“However - we know we need to step up the level of support further. We’ll provide emergency payments to help residents with their immediate situation, while giving them the support and advice they need to cope in the long-term.
“This is a crisis which the Government should be taking action on – the Government should reverse the cuts it has made to Universal Credit and give people more help to pay these extraordinary fuel bills.”
The Cost of Living Crisis Fund is just one part of a wider package of support for Camden residents from Camden Council and its partners, which includes:
- Helping residents unable to afford basic living items when they move into a new home through payments of up to £1,000 to pay for essentials including a cooker, fridge, bed(s), bedding, chairs and essential cooking equipment.
- Taking 16,300 residents on the lowest incomes out of paying Council Tax altogether through the Councils’ Council Tax Support scheme – with potential discounts also available for residents earning less than £497.25 a week. Camden Council invests £29million in this scheme – making it is one of the most generous Council Tax support schemes in the country.
- Providing support and grants worth up to £2,000 via the Council’s We Make Camden Kit to help groups of people or community organisations start projects or initiatives that will help their local community. This includes funding projects to help people eat nutritious, affordable and sustainable food. A diverse panel of residents from across Camden decides who is awarded funding, with support from Camden Giving and Camden Council.
A range of help and support with the rising cost of living – including accessing financial support via the Council’s Cost of Living Crisis Fund for residents suffering extreme financial hardship - is available at www.camden.gov.uk/costofliving , by calling the council on 020 7974 4444 (option 9), by calling Citizens Advice Camden on 0808 278 7835 or by contacting one of the organisations in Camden Advice Network. Find their details at www.camden.gov.uk/can . A range of support is available with money, debt, rising energy bills, mental health, domestic abuse and violence, accessing Government grants and more.