The Council has directed £10million in total to Greenwich Supports, following another injection of £4.75million agreed by Cabinet on Wednesday 12 July, to help tackle the cost of living crisis and support its most vulnerable residents.
With record numbers of families in temporary accommodation, Royal Greenwich and London are facing a massive housing shortage as rents soar, and spiralling inflation.
Almost 2,000 households are in temporary accommodation in Royal Greenwich alone, with more than 200 having to stay at hotels and hostels, due to a lack of available homes.
Councillor Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said:“We are currently experiencing a massive housing crisis with over 26,000 people on our waiting list. This shocking issue is affecting boroughs across London – however, we are one of the first authorities to give cash directly to households currently in hostels and hotels, so they can have hot meals even when they do not have cooking facilities.
“Not only as a council, but as fellow human beings, we owe it to each other to make sure basic needs are met no matter the circumstances.
“Everyone deserves a hot meal and somewhere they can call home, and we are investing as much as we can to help residents pay fuel costs, put food on the table and find a safe and secure home that meets their needs.”
Councillor Mariam Lolavar, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Business and Skills, said: “This latest decision on financial support is just sticking tape on a much deeper issue brought about by out of control inflation, stagnant wages that don’t reflect rising costs and a failure for Welfare Benefits to meet the basic needs of our residents.
“Over the last year, the council has experienced unprecedented demand on its services and gave £1 million to residents in financial crisis through our Emergency Support Scheme alone.
“Despite the decisions we are making, communities across the borough are still battling the lowest living standards seen in decades, while others don’t even have permanent and secure housing.
“This needs to be resolved at the source, but in the meantime, we are working towards a long-term plan for our residents to ensure that we support our most vulnerable residents during their times of greatest need.”
By reaching a new agreement of how the Household Support Fund should be spent, more residents will be able to access the right support, advice and opportunities to improve their situation, as promised in Our Greenwich the council’s four-year corporate plan.
The council is strengthening its Greenwich Supports service for vulnerable residents with six actions…
- £740,000 to our Emergency Support Scheme (ESS), to support residents during unexpected hardship and so we can intervene on behalf of households in temporary hotel accommodation unable to access hot food.
- Over £3.1million in cash payments to families on free school meals, children under the age of five, care leavers, residents with Nil Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) and those on low income with a disability.
- £400,000 to Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) to tackle food insecurity by buying food to stock local foodbanks and food pantries
- £100,000 to Charlton Athletic Community Trust to deliver our Stay Warm and Stay Safe scheme, and LiveWell Greenwich which signposts and supports residents in managing their health and wellbeing. Both organisations also support residents struggling with fuel costs.
- £100,000 will be used to fund community groups hoping to open a Warm and Welcoming space for Royal Greenwich residents.
- £150,000 will strengthen our Money Advice Team to ensure those needing emergency support or in financial crisis get the advice they need on maximising income, budgeting and spending less.
To find out more about what support is available call LiveWell Greenwich free on 0800 470 4831 or visit royalgreenwich.gov.uk/greenwich-supports