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Your crisis, our action: cost of living support

Struggling with the cost of living? We’re taking action, together.

Last updated: 2 November 2022

Next review: 20 October 2023

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Your crisis, our action

If you need advice or support to pay your bills, heat your home, get quality food that’s right for you and your family, or access the right type of benefits, there is a range of support available to you. We're focusing on these four areas to make sure you get the support you need: 

Winter safety net

We’re making sure financial support is available for those who need it most and are committing over £4 million community response that will help our residents weather this storm. This will include new community living rooms across the borough offering a safe, warm and judgement free space, hosted at council buildings such as libraries as well as community spaces and churches.

You can get financial support from a variety of services in Waltham Forest including: 

  • Universal Credit - a monthly payment that can help you with your living expenses and housing costs, including your rent.  
  • Housing Benefit - can help you pay your rent. Most people receive housing costs through Universal Credit, but you can apply for Housing Benefit separately if you have reached state pension age or live in supported, sheltered, or temporary housing.
  • Council tax Support - if you’re on a low income or in receipt of a benefit you may be able to get some of your Council Tax bill paid for you. 
  • Citizens Advice Waltham Forest - advice on various issues including money, benefits, housing, employment, and how to apply for further aid. 0808 278 7838 (freephone)
  • Debt Free London - expert advice for Londoners with problem debt. The advice pages on their website can be translated into many languages. 0800 808 5700 (freephone)
  • Age UK Waltham Forest offers assistance with benefit applications such as Pension Credit, Carers Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Dial-a-Ride/Taxi Card applications, appeals, housing issues, alleviation of debt/fuel poverty or minimisation of risk of abuse.
  • If you are worried about struggling to pay your bills, accessing temporary accommodation or becoming homeless, you can get in touch with a housing advisor on 020 8496 3000.

Lower bills, warmer homes

We are taking action now to help our residents lower their bills and keep their homes warm this winter. We’ll be supporting 2,000 household to retrofit their homes, whilst sharing helpful tips on how to keep our homes warmer this winter with all of our residents. The most vulnerable households will receive direct support with installation delivered by the Council’s standalone trading company ServiceStore and local charity partners The HEET Project. Others will get support to carry out DIY retrofitting measures.

Children: warm and fed

Ensuring our young people get the best start in life means they are set up for success as adults. That’s why we have put in place more support for our schools so that the most vulnerable children receive a healthy, nutritious breakfast. An extra package of measures will benefit up to 25,000 children living locally in households that are struggling to make ends meet. Families receiving support from the Early Help and Children’s Social Care teams will be eligible for vouchers to help buy essential goods such as food and utilities. Additionally, local schools will distribute nutritious breakfasts to help young people start the day with a healthy meal, setting them up for academic success.

Jobs, Skills and Growth

We will continue to develop the local jobs market, providing residents with the chance to train and learn new skills or gain qualifications to help connect them with high-quality career opportunities. We will also increase investment in green job skills, providing resilience and long-term reassurance as we move toward a low-carbon economy.

  • Get support on finding a quality job and gaining skills, free learning and more on our Waltham Forest Jobs website.
  • Steps into Work is a Council led personalised one-to-one service which has been set up to support Waltham Forest residents to gain employment. We offer tailored support at every step of your journey into work.

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