£2m fuel poverty fund for social landlords
The Social Housing Fuel Support Fund will be funded by the Scottish Government, and managed and administered by SFHA.
A new £2 million fuel poverty fund will help social landlords to support tenants who are struggling with fuel costs during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Social Housing Fuel Support Fund will be funded by the Scottish Government, and managed and administered by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA). It aims to provide practical support to social landlords’ tenants in order to help them to manage or reduce their energy costs.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Everyone needs a safe, warm place to call home, but we know the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many people to worry about the cost of their fuel bills.
“That is why we are increasing our support for households across Scotland struggling with their energy costs, including providing up to £7 million in new funding as part of our £100 million Winter Support Package.
“This funding will complement and support the flexible funding already available through local authorities by ensuring as many people as possible are able to access support.
“As part of this, I am delighted that we are working in partnership with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations to make £2 million available to registered social landlords, to ensure there is support to social housing tenants across Scotland.”
Sally Thomas, Chief Executive, SFHA, said: “Housing associations and co-operatives work hard to make their homes energy efficient and to reduce the cost of heating them, however, their tenants are more likely to be in fuel poverty due to their lower incomes. The coronavirus pandemic has also negatively affected many people financially as well as increasing the amount of time they are spending at home, so it is likely this has further impacted fuel poverty levels.
“So we really welcome this funding from the Scottish Government which will help to support social landlords’ vital work in tackling fuel poverty.”
Projects have to be able to be delivered by 31 March 2021. Eligibility for the scheme is limited to RSLs (either individually or in groups) but this could include working in partnership with an appropriate delivery partner.
Given the timescales involved, and the fund’s main aim of getting practical support to tenants as soon as possible, it is expected the majority of funding will be provided to expand existing service delivery by RSLs – although new activity is not prohibited, if it can be reasonably organised within the set timescales.
Examples of activity that may be funded include vouchers to allow people to top-up prepayment meters, however, the funding is not reserved only for those using prepayment meters.
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