The council is aiming to reach groups who missed out on earlier cost of living support schemes. These include some families, some people with disabilities and some people getting benefits.
It is launching three new schemes, using money from the government’s household support fund.
One scheme is for families with children, or who are expecting a child. Eligible families can get one £70 supermarket voucher per child, to spend on food or household essentials. The scheme is taking applications now.
It’s aimed at families who missed out on earlier vouchers distributed by schools or nurseries – maybe because their income was slightly above the cut-off point, their school or nursery wasn’t involved in the scheme, or their child doesn’t attend school or nursery.
For more information, or to apply, visit Household support fund – Portsmouth City Council.
If they need help applying, they can contact Advice Portsmouth on 023 9279 4340 or (if they’re a council tenant) their area housing office.
Applications must be made by 31 March, but because funding is limited, the council is encouraging people to apply as soon as possible.
Two other schemes will get under way soon. Applications for these are not yet open, but residents can search “household support fund” at www.portsmouth.gov.uk and sign up for an alert when a scheme becomes available.
Under one of the forthcoming schemes, people could qualify for a £120 cost of living payment. To be eligible, they need to be on housing benefit and no other means-tested income benefit, or receiving universal credit or pension credit from a claim that started on 26 September 2022 or later. Details will be available soon.
Under the other forthcoming scheme, people under pension age, who get disability living allowance or personal independence payments, could qualify for a £150 warm home payment. More information will be available soon.
Household support funding is given to local councils so they can support their most vulnerable residents with essential daily costs, such as food and energy.
Cllr Suzy Horton, the council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: “As this crisis continues to bite, we know many people are struggling in our city.
“We’ve already reached thousands of people in need with household support schemes, but there’s still some money available to help some specific groups of people who haven’t been included before and who need a bit of support.
“The funding is limited so we need to make sure that those most in need receive it.
“We know every bit of support helps in these very tough times. If you think you might be eligible, please find out more and apply.”
The council is also using household support funding to give more people access to home energy advice visits. To find out how to save energy and money, residents can visit Switched on Portsmouth or call the freephone helpline on 0800 260 5907.
It is also providing funding for local organisations that are supporting people with the cost of living, including foodbanks and community pantries.
To find cost of living advice and help, residents can go to the council’s online cost of living hub – a one-stop source of local advice and support. It has information on topics including food, housing, energy bills, warm spaces, saving money and wellbeing. The hub is at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/costofliving Or if residents need to talk to someone, they can call 023 9284 1047 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday or 9am to 4.30pm Friday.