A discretionary assistance fund is managed by the council in North Yorkshire County for individuals on a low income facing a crisis. Help is provided for living expenses such as food or a pre-paid card is provided for utilities. There may be limited grants available for a rent in advance payment or deposit in partnership with charities or district councils, but all assistance for the vulnerable is provided at the discretion of the council.
The financial aid is for people facing a crisis that are under exceptional pressure and are faced with a safety concern. It will also support residents so they can remain in the community, or resettle into a more affordable property if that is what the council decides is the best solution.
The North Yorkshire County council is providing the scheme using central government funding, and they decide who can receive help. The amount of money the council received is less than in the past, as the social services continue to bet cut nationwide. The Local Assistance Fund is at the discretion of the council, and all aid is limited and prioritised to those that are most needy and who will be able to live independently. In particular, any help for rent payments is limtied and is mostly from referrals to other local schemes. An assessment will be done to determine who most needs help.
The aid provided is limited. There will not be cash grants, but instead a voucher will be used in lieu of that. Or some people may receive a pre-paid card, and the award from the scheme will be in kind. So these forms of payment should now be considered to be the new version of a grant that individuals in North Yorkshire were use to receiving in the past.
The assistance from the fund is limited to the following. What the council will provide is vouchers for emergency food or a referral to a soup kitchen or Trussel Trust centre in the county. Or a pre-paid card may be used for paying fuel bills. Individuals that are homeless or resettling into a more affordable home can seek a grant for the security deposit, but they too may have a voucher issued to the landlord for paying those housing costs. The aid will be for essential items for addressing the crisis, and that is all.
Application process for funds
When seeking help, the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund will prioritise the following people from the county. First, support is for individuals with an exceptional, one time financial crisis that are out of options. The scheme is also for people with a disability or mental health problem. Assistance, especially for any rental deposits, or for families that are homeless or threatened with it. There is also help from the fund for victims of domestic abuse or ex-offenders.
All applicants need to have a local connection to North Yorkshire County and also be age 16 or over, but they can reside in any of the towns or districts though. Income thresholds are also in place by the council, and the applicant needs to have an amount under that.
Customer service from the North Yorkshire County can answer questions on the application process. They can be called at 084587 27374. In most cases, referrals will be provided to agencies to apply at, as the council partners with charities and the Citizens Advice Bureau on the scheme.
If the application was not successful and was refunded, then the council will refer the person to other assistance programmes in North Yorkshire, as there are also food banks, loans from credit unions, and other deposit schemes. The council will do its best to ensure the family gets the help they need.