Struggling East Devon families urged to apply for council cash to help pay for bills and food

Struggling East Devon families received a share of more than £57,000 at the end of 2021 to help pay for food and bills.

With more than £50,000 help still available in the pot for East Devon residents, any families and individuals needing help to pay for food or household bills are urged to apply for a Household Support Fund grant through East Devon District Council (EDDC), before the March 31 closing date.

Recent figures released by East Devon District Council shows the highest percentage of applicants needing extra help at the end of 2021 were from Exmouth (26 per cent), followed by Axminster (16 per cent), Honiton (10.9 per cent), Sidmouth (10.9 per cent) and Seaton (eight per cent).

In six weeks, between November 18 and the end of December 2021, some 350 households were helped with support from the Household Support Fund through EDDC.

Residents facing financial hardship this winter still have until March 31, 2022, to apply for help to pay for food, essentials and household bills.

So far only 47 per cent of the £142,000 pot of the cash, given to the authority by Devon County Council, has been spent, the district council said.

Councillor Megan Armstrong, portfolio holder and chair of the EDDC’s poverty working panel, said: “The Household Support Fund has already helped hundreds of individuals and families who are finding it difficult to pay their ongoing regular household bills.

“I would encourage anyone else who is struggling financially to contact our financial resilience officers who will be happy to help and advise.

“It would be good if all of the allocated funding could be used to help support those who need help before 31 March, so please do not hesitate to apply.”

EDDC said financial help was given to people ‘from all backgrounds and walks of life’.

Out of the 350 cases EDDC has helped financially:

  • 140 of those were in receipt of a disability benefit.
  • 78 were carers – or had a carer in the household.
  • 10 were of pension age.
  • Six were former members of the armed forces.

The district council said a total of eight per cent of those helped were homeowners, more than 90 per cent were renters across all sectors and just under two per cent were homeless. Almost a quarter were also employed.

For more information, and to apply, see here.

 

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