More residents can now get help and support from Hackney Council
Residents who are having trouble paying their rents, their Council Tax, or who are in need of help covering utilities or essential household items - and more - can apply for a range of financial help from Hackney Council.
More people than ever are eligible for support from the Council to reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on households and in recognition of the rising cost of living; and we have made more money than ever available to help them.
Residents can apply directly for several available grants - or get help applying by phoning the Council - below.
We know there are many people in our borough who are struggling financially, and this will only have got worse as a result of the effects of the pandemic on incomes and job prospects, as well as the rising food and utility prices.
We are doing everything in our power to help, and are committed to supporting our most vulnerable in whatever way we can.
That’s why we’re encouraging everyone who thinks they may be eligible for help to get in touch with us now.
Support with rent and housing-related costs
Do you need help with your rent arrears, a deposit on a new rental property or to help pay for removals? Hackney Council can top up your housing-related benefit.
You must be in receipt of either Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit to apply for this help, known as the Discretionary Housing Payment.
Reasons that you are struggling to pay your rent could include:
- Local housing allowance rates have left you with a rent shortfall
- The benefit cap
- The bedroom tax.
Not everyone who applies can be given an award, so the more you tell us about your circumstances the better your chances are of getting an award.
Awards are designed to be short-term, and are made on a case-by-case basis.
We consider things like:
- The size of the shortfall
- Health or disability
- What you are doing to improve your situation.
You can apply here or call: 020 8356 3399 if you have trouble applying online.
Support paying Council Tax
Are you experiencing financial difficulties or are on a low income? You could get help from the Council towards paying your Council Tax.
Many people will have received Council Tax bills recently. These are last year’s bills that we had been unable to send until now due to the criminal cyberattack on our computer services.
Council Tax reduction of up to £80 a month may be granted to people who are working; unemployed; unable to work due to illness or disability; caring for a child or adult; a student; or retired.
The Council will need to look at your and your partner’s income; your and your partner’s savings and investments; and the personal circumstances of other adults living in your household to check whether you are eligible.
Residents who have more than £16,000 in savings, stocks and shares or other capital (unless you also receive Guaranteed Pension Credit) are not eligible for help.
However, the best way to find out if you can get a reduction is to make a claim. Those unfamiliar with making this kind of claim, can get support in applying by calling: 020 8356 3399.
Residents who are concerned about how much they owe in their recent bills could also be eligible for extra help to pay their full Council Tax bill via the Council’s Discretionary Hardship Grant. This is awarded to those in financial crisis on a case-by-case basis. More people than ever are now eligible for the hardship grant to reflect the impact of Covid-19 on residents. For example, all pensioners can now apply, and awards can now be made for a full year rather than the previous limit of 12 weeks.
Support paying for food, utilities, household items, travel, and phone and internet access
Have you suffered a sudden financial shock or face unexpected costs and require emergency help?
The Council’s Hackney Discretionary Crisis Support Scheme can provide payments for emergencies or items that are difficult to budget for.
We increased the fund by £500,000 to recognise the unprecedented impact of coronavirus on residents who might need support with a wider range of costs and items than usual.
The Council will consider all requests made on an individual basis.
Help with basic living needs
One-off payment to cover items such as:
- Utilities, including gas and electricity reconnection
- Clothing and footwear.
Help with digital access and support
Payments to help cover:
- Mobile phone top-ups including data costs
- Maintaining phone, broadband and internet access
- Replacing essential computer equipment where absolutely necessary.
Help with emergency travel
Payments to cover:
- Travel costs to a close family funeral
- Transport to essential services.
Help with household items and housing costs
Payments to cover items to help you remain in your home or move into a new home such as:
- Essential appliances and white goods such as a cooker, fridge, freezer or washing machine
- Bedding, mattresses and furniture
- Rent in advance and deposits for new tenancies (where this is not met by discretionary hardship payments).
For advice and guidance, call our customer service line on 020 8356 3000 and ask to apply for ‘discretionary crisis support’.
If you have tested positive for Covid-19 or live with someone who has tested positive, support is available to help you self-isolate and access food and other essentials. .
This support includes:
- Care package, delivered to your home (tests, PPE, guidance, cleaning spray and sanitiser)
- Support calls
- Emergency food support
- Alternative accommodation for those in shared or overcrowded accommodation
- Translation services to explain self isolation procedures,
Call our helpline on 020 8356 3111, 9am -5pm, Monday to Friday for more information; or apply here