Trafford Conservatives have welcomed the allocation of £1.458m to the borough as part of the Government’s £421m Housing Support Fund. The fund has been established to support those most in need this winter during the final stages of economic recovery. Local authorities have discretion on exactly how this funding is used within the scope of Government guidance, with an expectation that the funding should primarily be used to support households in the most need with food, energy and water bills.
In Trafford, the Council has decided that £615,000 of the Housing Support Fund will be used for awards for food during the school holidays for families eligible for Free School Meals or Council Tax Support, with a £204,000 increase in funding in December; £589,000 will be used for fuel, water and food - for all vulnerable households; £30,000 will be used for essential items for Community Hubs and £20,000 will be used as support for exceptional circumstances housing costs.
The funding is in addition to other Government support for Trafford families such as the Warm Home Discount which provides a £140 rebate on energy bills each winter to low-income Trafford households and the Cold Weather Payment which provides £25 extra a week for poorer households when the temperature is consistently below zero. It is also in addition to the £220 million Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has offered nutritious meals and activities to disadvantaged children across the Easter and Summer holidays, and will do so again this Christmas. The Government has also doubled free childcare for eligible working parents, worth up to £5,000 per child every year and increased the value of Healthy Start vouchers in April by over a third, helping disadvantaged women who are pregnant or have children under four to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, boosting the long-term health of their children.
Commenting on the funding, Cllr. Patrick Myers, Shadow Executive Member for Finance and Governance at Trafford Council said “This new Government funding to support Trafford families is very welcome news and will provide much needed support for those at risk of struggling to keep up with their bills over the winter. We are all feeling the effect of rising prices for essential goods and services and this new funding will really help Trafford families as the borough continues on its path of recovering from the pandemic.”