Bucks Council welcomes housing support announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak's spring statement

Thousands of households in the county are facing hardship, the council says
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Bucks Council has welcomed chancellor Rishi Sunak's announcement that the Household Support Fund will be doubled.

It was one of many changes confirmed by the chancellor during his spring statement at the House of Commons yesterday (23 March).

Funding will be doubled for the scheme going from £500 million to £1 billion.

Bucks Council Leader Martin TettBucks Council Leader Martin Tett
Bucks Council Leader Martin Tett
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A Bucks Council spokesman said: "Thousands of households in Buckinghamshire are facing serious financial hardship in the face of rising costs in everything from food and fuel to energy bills.

"The Household Support Fund is distributed to local authorities to help them support those most severely impacted in their local area and provides a vital lifeline to many families and individuals."

Despite the changes announced by the chancellor yesterday, which are designed to ease pressure on families during a cost of living crisis.

An independent government forecaster predicted that living standards will fall to their lowest point in the UK since the 1950s.

Bucks Council Leader Martin Tett commented on Mr Sunak's budget statement, saying: “I am pleased that the Government is responding to the call for more support to those most in need during these difficult times and is providing local authorities with the means to help our most vulnerable residents.”

To support struggling families during the pandemic, the council launched a Helping Hand scheme.

It was designed to assist those who were struggling to pay their bills and get by during a time of great financial uncertainty.

The scheme has continued since then and now involves community input and support from local voluntary organisations.

More recently the scheme was used to assist Afghan refugees in Bucks, work is being done to assist Ukrainians in similar need of help, the council states.

Councillor Tett added: “We know that many of our residents are finding life extremely difficult at the moment, with one thing after another adding to the financial strain.

"We don’t want anyone to struggle alone, there is support available so please get in touch and let us help you.

"Our Helping Hand service has already helped many people and we will ensure that the new funding we are due to receive reaches those who need it most.”

Money from the fund will be distributed to individual councils next month.

Bucks Council says it will provide more details and guidance on how the scheme works over the weeks.

More information on Bucks support schemes is available on the council website here, the local authority has a helping hand team, that residents can call on 01296 531151, there is also an online form people in need of help can fill out.