Cost of Living Assistance Fund

We are approaching our COLAF funding limit. The scheme remains open for applications but claims will only be paid subject to applicants meeting the qualifying criteria and enough available funding at the point that an application is decided.

Applications are prioritised by date of receipt.

The Cost of Living Assistance Fund (COLAF) is a new scheme to support residents across the borough facing financial difficulties due to the rising cost of living.

Approved by councillors in February, the new £1 million Residents Assistance Fund will help households struggling to pay bills, with grants available to help pay for food and energy.

This funding is in addition to support announced by the government and the Household Support Fund which will provide food vouchers for residents who receive certain benefits. These vouchers will be provided to eligible households shortly.

Eligibility Criteria

You must:

  • be resident in the Borough
  • be a homeowner or be liable for utility bills (including paying a service charge within a tenancy for utility bills)
  • not have savings of more than £20,000

One-off grants will be available for up to the following amounts:

  • Up to £1,000 for households with two or more adults with a joint income of up to £35,000
  • Up to £500 for single households with a household income of up to £25,000

Income from certain benefits will not be included in the assessment of household income. This includes disability living allowance, personal independence payment, attendance allowance, carers allowance and some other benefits relating to disability, as well as child benefit and other child maintenance.

Application process

Before you start an application, please ensure that you have the following details to hand:

  • your National Insurance number
  • income details for you and your partner (for example: wages, benefits, pensions)
  • details of your regular household expenditure
  • details of any capital held by you/your partner

To apply please complete the application via the link below. Once your application has been received, we will contact you to provide the evidence that is required in order to process your application.

Cost of Living Assistance Fund Application


Payments are normally made through the post office. You will receive a letter which you can take to the post office, along with proof of photo ID, and you will have the option of:

  • withdrawing cash
  • use the money to pay a bill
  • have the money transferred into a bank account

Only one award will be made to you or your household within a 12 month period.

Assistance will be given on a first come first served basis for eligible applications until the funding provided has been fully allocated.

Assessment process

Applications will be processed as quickly as possible once a completed application has been received along with the supporting documents. A decision will be made based on the information provided, and the reasons for the application. Once a decision has been made, we will write to you with the outcome advising:

  • whether an award has been made
  • the intended use of the award, and the value(s) awarded
  • the reason for the decision

What if I am not successful with my application?

The scheme is discretionary and there are no appeal rights. If you are unsuccessful, you can ask for us to look at it again providing you can demonstrate that there has been:

  • a factual error based on the decision made, or
  • an oversight of a significant piece of evidence, or
  • where new evidence has come to light that was not provided with the original application

In these circumstances you can ask us to look at our decision again by emailing within 10 days of our decision being notified to you.

How will my data be used?

We will only collect data relevant to your application.

Who will you share my data with?

If your application is successful, then it will be necessary for us to share your name and contact details with a third party for a supermarket voucher/Post Office payout code to be issued to you.

Please read our full privacy statement for information on how we collect, use and keep your personal information.

PDF document Cost of Living Assistance Fund (COLAF) Guidance(PDF) [147 kb]

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