Household Support Fund

What is the Household Support Fund?

The Government has made an extra £842 million available to help the most vulnerable across England. This funding is an extension of the Household Support Fund (HSF) and has been allocated by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Southampton City Council has been allocated £4.4 million for 2023-2024.

The HSF is there to help low-income households, including families, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people. It provides help for those who are struggling with the cost of living.

Due to high demand, applications for support from HSF for November 2023 have now closed.

If you have submitted an application for November 2023:

  • It is currently taking up to one month to process applications.
  • Please do not contact us regarding the progress of your application within this timescale. We will contact you if we need further information
  • If your application is successful, Southampton City Council may pass your contact details to Blackhawk Network, who will email the Select voucher code directly to you. The email will be from

The HSF will reopen for self-referrals on Tuesday 9 January 2024. Further details will be published here in due course.

Please remember, you will only be able to receive support once. So, if you had received support in August or November 2023, please do not apply again in January 2024.

You can get more information about the help available with cost of living.

How the Household Support Fund is being spent locally

The scheme in Southampton will provide support to residents:

School holiday funding

To support families and children, funding has been allocated to provide Free School Meals during school holidays:

  • A £15 weekly payment for each eligible child for May, October and February half term breaks, including the Christmas holiday, and a £60 payment for each eligible child for the summer holiday
  • £150,000 has also been allocated to provide additional Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) schemes

Support with food

To support low-income households struggling with the rising cost of living and help toward household budgets:

Self-referral: Residents in need will be able to apply for a supermarket voucher. This will be for £50 for the main applicant and then £10 for each additional household member. We will be open for self-referrals in August and November 2023, and January 2024. We will only accept one application per household during HSF Four. Please do not apply in January if you received support in August or November 2023.

Agency Referral: We are working with a range of trusted partner organisations who can also make referrals for very vulnerable households.

Support to the local charity and voluntary sector

£850,000 will be provided to local agencies to provide practical support and advice to residents in the city.

Housing costs

Additional funding of £100,000 has been set aside to help residents with housing costs. See discretionary payments.

Get more information about the help available with cost of living.

Government support and Cost of Living Payment

For more information about help available please visit the Cost of living support: Overview on GOV.UK.

The HSF is a separate payment to the Government’s Cost of Living Payments being administered directly by the DWP. If you qualify for these payments, they will be paid directly into the bank account your Benefit is usually paid into.

To find out more, including information about payment dates and how to report a missed payment, visit Cost of Living Payments 2023 to 2024.