Residents of the city of York can receive help from the Financial Assistance Scheme (YFAS). The council will provide eligible low income households with a grant or pre-paid card for bills and household expenses. The three components of the scheme are Emergency or Community assistance as well as DHP – Discretionary Housing Payment for addressing future rent payments.
The York welfare programme was created in partnership with the government, Citizens Advice Bureau, local authorities, and the Credit Union. The aim of the scheme is to provide a grant to families or individuals facing a hardship that have no source of funds or family to help them, and it also replaces crisis loans and other forms of support that are no longer offered. This is a discretionary programme and residents are not entitled to any award. In fact, the council will offer short term support to people working towards independence.
Expenses paid by the Financial Assistance Scheme
For households facing some type of disaster, such as a fire or flood or theft the city of York council may be able to provide them support. This is Emergency Assistance, and welfare can provide vouchers for clothing, furniture, white goods, a free parcel of food and household goods.
The aim is to address the crisis, but the scheme is limited. Applicants will need proof of what the crisis was, and the York council and authorities will also verify this. The non-repayable grant will usually be £100.
Community Assistance grants will be to help families on a low income that are threatened with an exceptional hardship, such as lack food or heat. The York scheme can also help people resettle or remain in the city, and there may be support for deposits or furniture for a new home. There may also be grants for emergency travel or addressing other types of bills or expenses. Some of the awards will also go to elderly, lone parents, ex-offenders, and others that are vulnerable or in priority need.
Another use of this Community Assistance is there may also be government grants from welfare for the pre-payment of a fuel meter. This can provide the vulnerable in York with help on their winter heating costs and it provides them time to enter into a payment plan with their supplier. There are other options to explore for fuel costs too, and read gas and electric bill help.
The amount paid out from the YFAS grant will depend on council funding and other factors. Usually the maximum payment will be £500, but some older people and the elderly may receive up to £1000 from the Financial Assistance Scheme. Priority is also for city of York residents on Housing Benefit and / or Local Council Tax Support, Employment and Support Allowance (income-related), Pension Credit, or another benefit.
The Discretionary Housing Payments are also provided from the council, and this is also part of Community assistance. DHP in York will only pay for council tax or future rent, and not the arrears due to a landlord. Grants from the council will help pay the different in housing costs and benefits the tenant receives, and this is what is known as future rent. DHP will also help tenants in York that are on the Universal Credit.
All funding is limited and set by the central government and local council resources, so limits are in place and the application process is strict. If the council does not issue an award from the scheme, they will refer residents to other not-for-profit or government sources of financial help.
Applications can be done online, using internet access points if needed be. The council and its support team will require proof of income, age, and assets. If the applicant commits fraud in this process, the council can purse action against them. The welfare scheme is also a last resort and residents need to have applied for other forms of aid first, before requesting a grant.
Also, financial support from York Financial Assistance Scheme is not guaranteed to any person from the city. The applicant will need to proof risk if they do not get help from the scheme, and priority is for those faced with a health or safety issue. Also, as funds allows, the limit to the number of vouchers or grants from the York council is two or three per year.
Or to apply, the telephone for the council and the Financial Assistance Scheme is 0808 168 5238. Customer support from the centre can provide advice to residents.