Extended Cost-of-Living Support Available for North Yorkshire Residents

In an effort to alleviate the ongoing financial strain on households due to rising living costs, North Yorkshire Council has announced the extension of the Household Support Fund to aid over 21,000 eligible residents across the county.

Entering its fifth phase, the scheme will provide a one-off payment in the form of supermarket e-vouchers, valued at £140, to help cover the cost of essential items such as food and household supplies. This initiative targets residents who were receiving the maximum council tax discount through the means-tested council tax reduction scheme as of June 1, 2024.

A Lifeline for Many

The Household Support Fund, initially established by the previous Government, has been instrumental in supporting those grappling with financial pressures. Councillor Heather Phillips, North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for corporate services, emphasised the ongoing need for such support:

“Families are continuing to face immense financial challenges in North Yorkshire, like all parts of the country, with high energy and food bills. By working in partnership with the Government, we can provide the support that is required.”

Phillips highlighted the scheme’s success, noting the significant relief it has provided to many households:

“The Household Support Fund has been a lifeline for many, offering short-term relief from the immense financial pressure people are facing.”

Easy Access to Vouchers

Eligible households have been notified via a letter from North Yorkshire Council containing an individual code to download their supermarket e-voucher. For those less confident with technology, council staff are available to assist over the phone, by email, or in person at seven main council offices.

Additionally, the county’s libraries have played a crucial role in assisting residents. Hazel Smith, head of libraries, remarked on the positive feedback from those helped by the scheme:

“Our teams have been helping people redeem and print their vouchers since 2022. It’s always satisfying to hear how much the vouchers have helped during these difficult times.”

Residents can visit any of the 42 libraries across North Yorkshire for face-to-face support. No appointments are necessary, though a short wait might be expected during busy periods.

Where to Use the Vouchers

The e-vouchers can be redeemed at nine major supermarkets: Aldi, ASDA, Farmfoods, Iceland, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose. Among these, ASDA, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose also offer online shopping options.

Further Support Initiatives

In addition to the vouchers, the latest round of the Household Support Fund is bolstering other support schemes across the county. This includes additional funding for foodbanks and a substantial £100,000 investment in the North Yorkshire local assistance fund, which provides emergency financial support for food and utilities. Moreover, the North Yorkshire Citizens Advice and Law Centre has received an extra £250,000 to help residents with energy bills.

Act Now

Councillor Phillips urged all eligible residents to redeem their vouchers by Monday, August 5, reassuring them of the confidentiality of the process:

“Nobody will know when you use your voucher in the supermarket that you’ve had a Household Support Fund payment. It will look like any other voucher.”

For more information on the Household Support Fund and to check eligibility, visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/HouseholdSupportFund.

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