Grants and support
We understand that there is a rise in the cost of living. If you are in need of support there are several organisations and government schemes that could benefit you.
- Council Tax Rebate scheme: aims to support households with their energy bills. You can find full details of the scheme through this link: Government rebate for energy bills It will only be available to people who pay their own Council Tax, not people in shared housing where Advance pays the council tax and recharges it in a service charge.
- Energy Bills Support Scheme: Domestic electricity customers in Great Britain will receive a £400 reduction in their electricity costs from October 2022, through the Energy Bills Support Scheme. For people living in shared housing or blocks where the landlord procures energy supply commercially (as Advance does in some cases), you need to apply yourself via a short online application, available through the same Energy Bills Support Scheme link. For those without online access, the contact centre helpline can be reached on 0808 175 3287 where a representative will guide you through the application process.
- Winter Fuel Payment: If you were born on or before 26 September 1955 you could get between £100 and £300 from the government to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a Winter Fuel Payment
- The Government has recently launched their Cost of Living Payments if you are entitled to certain benefits or tax credits. To check entitlement, please click on this link and read the contents of the page.
Department of Work and Pensions offer Budgeting Loans
A Budgeting Loan can help pay for:
- furniture or household items (for example, washing machines or other ‘white goods’)
- clothes or footwear
- rent in advance
- costs linked to moving house
- maintenance, improvements or security for your home
- travelling costs within the UK
- costs linked to getting a new job
- maternity costs
- funeral costs
- repaying hire purchase loans
- repaying loans taken for the above items
Help paying bills
Warm Home Discount Scheme: You could get money off your electricity bill for the winter under the Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you - it is a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March. You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity.
Cold Weather Payment: You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you are getting certain benefits or Support for Mortgage Interest.
Citizens' Advice: You can find lots of information about energy advice and/or grants to help pay off your energy debts on the Citizens' Advice website.
Advice for energy use and rising costs
National Energy Action (NEA) provides independent advice on energy use and costs. Their additional help pages also provides information on other agencies who can provide support.
Debt and benefits advice
If you are struggling to pay back debts or need some advice on what benefits you may be entitled to you can visit the web pages of organisations listed below:
Citizens Advice Bureau - Support a wide range of topics, including; debt, benefits, housing, legal, discrimination, employment and other problems.
Clockwise - Access to affordable credit, support with bank accounts and financial products.
Crisis/Budgeting Loans - For support with unforeseen and required expenses.
Money Advice Service - Support with budgeting and finances.
National Debt Line - Free and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems.
Step Change Debt Charity - Free impartial debt help and budgeting advice.
Tax Credits - Support with working tax credits and child tax credits, dependent on working hours.
Turn2us - Free and independent financial help and advice.
Vouchedfor - Lists financial advisers in the local area which have been well reviewed by clients; Vouchedfor's aim is increase public access to good financial advice.
Help paying rent and Council Tax
If you believe you could benefit from support with paying your Council Tax you can your local council’s website to check eligibility.
I live in a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) and my landlord is liable for council tax. Will I still be eligible for the rebate?
Where the owner of a property is liable for the council tax (for example in a House in Multiple Occupation or residential care home), no-one will be eligible for the rebate in relation to that property. If you are not the liable council tax payer but are impacted by rising energy costs, you may be able to access support from your council’s discretionary fund.
Advance Hardship Fund
If you are struggling with the day-to-day cost of living and experiencing financial difficulty you will be able to apply for a one-off amount of funding to assist with essential items such as:
- Utility Costs
- White goods
To fill out and submit an application to the Hardship Fund click here
Your Regional Housing Officer or Housing Outreach Worker will also be able to help you to apply.
Please note that cash cannot be paid. Successful applicants to the fund will either receive delivery of the required item or a voucher.
Additional information for shared owners
For more information on grants and support available to shared owners click here