Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund

Several needs can be met by the Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund. The borough, using funds from the central government as part of the national welfare scheme, provides emergency aid and grants to low income families that are facing a one-off crisis. There is help for everything from rent arrears as part of discretionary housing payments to free vouchers to food banks and more.

This is not the only form of assistance offered to residents of Wandsworth though. Local Job Centres also partner with the council too, and the low income and people in poverty can still apply for financial help from those locations, and this can include loans or assistance for funeral payments. All of these programmes can be combined together as part of the Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund.

Expenses covered by grants

The Wandsworth Council provides payments for a crisis, housing needs, and also Community Care Grants. All funds are limited, and is at the discretion of the council. They will also approve what types of bills or living expenses can be paid for, whether it is a deposit or maybe bag of groceries. So the conditions need to be followed by any resident that is given an award from the council.

Discretionary housing payments were combined into the welfare scheme in the borough of Wandsworth. This is one of the main programmes for preventing homelessness as it addresses tenants in rent arrears, and it can even be combined with deposit schemes.

What the programme will do, which is also known as DHP, it will cover an arrears or it may help pay the difference in rent due to a landlord. It will pay the difference between the tenants housing benefit and the housing expense due to the property owner. The council will also provide ongoing tenancy support and advice to help the family sustain their tenancy over time.

The Community Care Grant from the Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund is intended to help people remain independent. The scheme can assist with some rent deposit or housing costs in rare situations, but more likely there will be help for basic needs such as furniture, household equipment or free food.

Council funds can help ease exceptional financial pressures on low income families, and allow people to remain living in the community rather than an institution. This is only for people with a local connection, and the applicant also needs to be on a government benefit such as Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, or Housing.

Any awards given out from the Community Care Grant will be in the form of a voucher or grant, and not cash. Or the council will refer the client to a local charity for the goods, such as a food bank for a parcel or maybe a recycling centre for furniture. Also, people can only apply for help from this welfare component at most once per year.

Welfare also provides crisis payments as part of the Discretionary Social Fund. These are mostly focused on households faced with a disaster or some type of financial emergency, and the funds can help with daily living expenses and bills for basic needs. Examples may be funds for energy bills on pre-payment fuel meters, or their can be help to replace goods lost by flooding, a fire, or some other type of disaster. All applicants must be local to the Wandsworth resident and on a low income or in receipt of government benefits.

For more information or to apply for any type of assistance from the Wandsworth Discretionary Social Fund, people need to call 020 8871 6000 or stop by the office at The Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 2PU. It takes up to 5 days for the council to assess an application and provide an award.