Portsmouth City Council has relaunched its Exceptional Hardship scheme, funded by a 6-month extension of the UK Government’s Household Support Fund.

Households who are in severe financial hardship and are unable to afford essentials can apply to the council for a payment or voucher.

To find out more or to apply, go to www.portsmouth.gov.uk/household-support. Anyone who can’t apply online can call the dedicated helpline on 023 9268 8010 to make their application over the phone. 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.

You will need to provide evidence of your income and bank accounts and tell us about why you need help. Please note that the current application window closes on Friday 7 June, with the second window for applications due to open on Thursday 20 June.  The scheme is due to end on 13 September, but due to the limited amount of funding, the scheme will close earlier if all funds have been allocated.

The Exceptional Hardship schemes one of the schemes the council has developed following the extension of Household Support Fund to the end of September. Portsmouth will receive a maximum of £1,888,214 of funding from the UK Government, which Portsmouth City Council will use to fund a range of support for residents who are struggling, including:

  • Grants for the local food support network, including food banks, community meals and larders and pantries
  • Widening the summer Holiday Activities and Food programme to more families
  • Ensuring all residents continue to get advice and support with the cost of living when they need it
  • Food vouchers for every child eligible for means-tested free school meals this summer

In the summer, the council will open two more schemes to applications from residents:

  • Food vouchers for other low income families who do not receive means-tested free school meals because their children are not in school, or their income is a bit too high
  • Living cost payments for households with additional cost of living pressures

If you’d like to be notified when these schemes launch, enter your email address on the expression of interest form at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/household-support.

Portsmouth City Council Leader Cllr Steve Pitt said:

“The cost-of-living crisis hasn’t gone away and many people continue to struggle.  Before the Government announced its six-month extension to the Household Support Fund, Portsmouth City Council had already committed to continuing to provide additional help and advice to residents who need it until at least March 2025.  This additional Government money means that we can provide even more direct financial assistance to residents during the Spring and Summer months, as part of the wider package of cost-of-living support we’re providing.”