More than 500 families in Liverpool affected by the Benefit Cap are to be offered help with their winter fuel bills.
To tie in with Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on Friday 15 February, households affected by the benefit cap are being written to with details of how to claim a free £20 voucher to help them with their gas and electricity bills.
This is in addition to the 150 care leavers and 900 families with a child under one in receipt of housing benefit or council tax support who were offered fuel vouchers before Christmas.
The funding is coming from the Mayor’s Hope Fund and the LECCY, the city council’s not-for-profit gas and electricity supplier, using money generated from people signing up
Meanwhile, on Friday 15 February, staff from the council’s Healthy Homes team have teamed up with energy firm E.ON for an event at BBC Radio Merseyside on Friday 15 February from 11 – 2pm.
They will be offering free boiler and loft or cavity wall insulation for homeowners who qualify under the Government-led Affordable Warmth scheme, in a bid to improve energy efficiency during the cold winter months.
They will also be raising awareness of the help available to those in fuel poverty, and helping sign people up for free home energy assessments. Council colleagues from the Benefits Service will also be at the event.
Healthy Homes has helped identify 850 residents eligible for either replacement boilers, central heating systems and loft and cavity wall insulation. They have also referred almost 200 people to the Benefits Maximisation Team, securing an average payment of £935 in money they didn’t know they were entitled to.
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “We know that many families are worried sick about how they are going to pay their fuel bills over the winter, and this is our contribution to help ease the financial burden.
“Our city is famous for helping its own and I am determined to provide support where possible. This is only a small gesture but all of us in the city hope it will go some way to helping.
“Demand for foodbanks and crisis support continues to grow in our city due to a combination of austerity and welfare reforms. What we are doing here is coming together as a council to see what we can do to help those most in need and offer what assistance we can.”
The council has invested £23m in supporting people and families in crisis, such as those on low income or at risk of losing their home, including £2.7m in crisis payments to help people with the cost of food, fuel and clothes and £3.05m to protect people from reforms to housing benefit payments.