To apply for the HSF, IAP or ERS you should be:

  • a resident of London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
  • For the ERS scheme hold a current live Council Tax Account
  • on a low income or unemployed OR
  • in receipt of a benefit such as Income Support, Universal Credit, Income related Employment and Support Allowance, the Guarantee element of Pension Credit, a disability benefit such as Attendance Allowance or Personal Independence Payment (you do not need to be in receipt of a benefit to apply)
  • affected by the current cost of living
  • Had a significant change in your circumstances or life changing event that has placed you into hardship
  • has taken all reasonable steps to maximise incomes available to you via claiming Council Tax Support and/or Housing Benefit, Discretionary Housing Payment, Discretionary Council Tax Relief and/or Universal Credit

All applications will be treated individually on their own merit under all relevant schemes.

The level of payment will be decided by the Council. (see HSF, IAP & ERS  guidance & policies)

The HSF, IAP & ERS schemes in most cases should be seen as a short-term and temporary fund to allow customers who face a variety of challenges to find alternative solutions.

The scheme will work in conjunction with the Homes & Money Hub to support the residents across a broad range of services. This will include referrals of both HSF, IAP, ERS and DHP Applicants to services such as Job Shop, Budgeting and Debt advice, Adult Learning and any other relevant service as applicable for further advice and ongoing support.

The schemes are discretionary, and the claimant does not have a statutory right to payment or appeal however if requested we will review the decision. 

We usually only make 1 award every 12 months, and this could be either a one-off payment or an ongoing award for up to 26 weeks as deemed appropriate. The award is normally issued by phone text payment (ATM withdrawal link), direct payment to utility providers and in exceptional circumstances only a BACS payment into your nominated bank account.

If HSF, IAP, ERS or DHP is awarded we may work with you the customer and develop an action plan to move towards your affordable long-term solution.

Before you submit your application, make sure you provide the following evidence to support your claim and avoid delay.

Emergency living expenses

  • income and expenditure (budget planner)
  • identification
  • 3 months of full bank statements (not mini statements)
  • proof of debts (loans/credit cards)
  • proof of income or benefits
  • recent utility bills (including proof of utility arrears/debts)

Household items

  • income and expenditure (budget planner)
  • identification
  • 3 months of full bank statements (not mini statements
  • tenancy/mortgage agreement
  • proof of income or benefits
  • evidence of damaged/broken items or why items are required