New emergency fund provides supermarket vouchers and help with bills for York residents

Inside Asda at Monks Cross, York. Photograph: YorkMix
27 Mar 2020 @ 7.53 am
| News

A new emergency fund worth £1.25 million has been launched to help York residents facing hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The City of York Council scheme, which comes in addition to the £1m fund to support business launched earlier this week, offers financial help from two funds:

  • Emergency Hardship Fund for residents affected by Covid-19
  • Council tax Covid-19 Hardship Fund.

Council leader Cllr Keith Aspden said the money was “to support those residents who have seen their personal finance significantly and negatively affected by the outbreak”. He added:

  • Our two new financial assistance funds will go a long way to supporting residents, alongside additional support for working aged residents, who claim Council Tax Support.

    I would strongly encourage any resident or business facing hardship to get in touch with the council.

Emergency fund: Full details

Help with gas and electricity bills is on offer. Photograph: Magnascan / Pixabay

Emergency assistance is provided in several key areas, including:

  • Supermarket vouchers

These are available to people who do not have money for food and other household essentials. Vouchers will be provided  electronically to be used in a specific supermarkets. If you, or someone on your behalf, are not able to go to the supermarket to collect your shopping, you should the Covid-19 Community Hubs who will arrange support for you.

  • Gas & electricity

If you have a prepayment meter and have no money to top up or have no way of topping it up contact you energy provider for assistance in the first instance. If you’re still struggling to pay your bill, you will receive support and no meter disconnections will take place.

  • Other heating costs

If you have other heating costs, such as oil and need assistance, please apply giving as much detail as possible. These will be considered on the basis of need.

Community Assistance 

This part of the scheme provides help with basic necessities.

Applications will be considered for essential appliances where people do not have a working cooker, fridge, freezer or washing machines.   Goods will be delivered to your home and cookers and washing machines professionally installed.

To apply for a YFAS grant visit https://www.york.gov.uk/YFAS or call 01904 551550.

The Council will also be providing council tax relief for the most vulnerable.

Working aged people who claim Council Tax Support will receive an additional award for £150 towards their total bill for 2020/21. This will reduce their monthly repayments.

York residents who receive Council Tax Support will automatically be awarded the additional amount into council tax accounts.  The Council will be making these awards into people’s accounts over the coming weeks.

Residents do not need to do anything. If they are already receiving Council Tax Support the extra award will be added to their account and they will receive a new bill with revised monthly payments.

Anyone making a new claim for Council Tax Support will have the amount added once their claim has been assessed.

If you are struggling to pay your council tax:

Claim council Support online at www.york.gov.uk/CouncilTaxSupport

If you are already in receipt of Council Tax Support and your income has changed please tell us so we can check your claim at www.york.gov.uk/BenefitsChangeOfCircumstances

For the latest information on help and support for people affected by coronavirus visit www.york.gov.uk/coronavirus