The COVID Winter Grant Scheme will allow the Council to help the most vulnerable households and families with children, that have been worst affected by the pandemic.
This help means that following a successful assessment, low-income families will be able to claim cash payments of £170 a month to help with heating and other essential utility bills. Low income families include those receiving welfare benefits, or households with children, that have an overall income of less than £500 per week.
Meanwhile, individuals or smaller households with low incomes (less than £350 per week for individuals and couples), can also get £100 per month to keep their homes warm this winter.
The COVID Winter Grant scheme also promises continued support with free school meals to ensure no child goes hungry during the school holidays. Eligible families can claim £30 per child for the Christmas holiday, and £15 per child for the February half-term holiday.
This was made possible after an extra boost of over £600k from the Government which allows the Council to expand the existing Havering Helps (Emergency Assistance) Scheme to provide even more support to struggling households and families in need over what may be a very difficult winter.
How to apply
Residents can apply for Havering Helps online through the existing DABD online application form managed for Havering Council by DABD. DABD will then follow up applications by phone. Visit: www.havering.gov.uk/covid19moneyadvice
Residents can check if they are eligible and apply for free school meals at: www.havering.gov.uk/covid19mealsupport
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:
“Earlier this year I asked for £1.5m of funding to be put aside for our Havering Helps scheme to help those residents most in need. I am so pleased to say that we can now go even further with this additional funding. It means we can offer peace of mind to help those most in need at a time where many households and families are struggling to put food on the table or are worried about heating their homes over the coming months.
“COVID-19 has affected many people in different ways, including losing their jobs, so we want to do what we can to help.
“I’m also proud that we are able to give eligible families further support with free school meals over the Christmas break at £30 per child, and £15 per child for the February half-term holidays as well. This follows my decision for the Council to provide free school meals over the October half-term. Our action means that our most vulnerable children will get the help they need.
“We now have a glimmer of hope with a potential vaccine on the way, but until the country returns to a new normal, my Council and I are here to support those who need it most during this most challenging time.”