Isle of Wight Council

11 Mar 2013

Fund to support residents in financial crisis

A new scheme to provide help for Island residents in genuine financial hardship is recommended for approval in a delegated decision report published today (11 March).

The Local Assistance Scheme, if approved, would be launched on 1 April 2013 as a two-year pilot scheme to provide a program of support to help people access funding or services in times of crisis.
 
The scheme would provide short term emergency funds to eligible residents for items such as food, essential utilities, white goods, furniture and essential clothing. It could also provide emergency funding, where appropriate, for people affected by fire, flooding or theft, or to help with travel costs. Each application would be assessed on its individual merits.
 
Support would only be available for residents with an established link to the Island and no more than three awards can be given in a 12-month period. Applicants must also show that all other avenues of support have been explored before their claim is considered.
 
The Local Assistance Scheme will replace elements of support previously provided through the Department of Work and Pension’s Social Fund which is being abolished from 31 March this year.
 
During the two-year pilot scheme period, the government will provide the council with £344,000 each year to deliver the Local Assistance Scheme. The fund would be monitored on a monthly basis to ensure support is available to those who need it throughout the year.
 
A consultation was carried out with organisations and services that work with residents who are more likely to use the kind of emergency support to be provided through to scheme. There was general support for the new scheme, the findings of the consultation are detailed in the delegated decision report.
 
The report can be viewed on the council’s website here: http://www.iwight.com/council/what_is_a_council/images/FinalLASschemereport12313V4.pdf

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  • The government will provide the council with £344,000 each year to deliver the Local Assistance Scheme.
 
Isle of Wight, UK