On the Cliff Edge: Crisis Support 2022/2023 looks at local authority spending on local welfare schemes and examines how they have spent their allocation of the Household Support Fund, (HSF).
The report shows that 37 English local authorities have now closed their local welfare scheme, while 62% of all local welfare spending came from the Household Support Fund – which is only set to run until March 2024.
With crisis support currently being propped up by a temporary fund, there is a real risk that the amount of money available to people in crisis falls off a cliff edge in 2024/25. Local welfare schemes are local authority-run schemes to provide grants and essential furniture and appliances to support people in a time of crisis – it is up to each local authority whether they run a scheme or not.
Every local authority has also received HSF budgets to spend on crisis support. This has led to many local authorities reducing their core spend on local welfare, relying on the short-term HSF budgets. In 2022/23, 31 local welfare schemes were majority-funded by HSF, and this year, (2023/24), A further 13 are entirely funded by HSF.