Cost of Living Assistance Fund

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 July, the new £1 million Cost of Living 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

To qualify you must not have capital/savings of more than £20,000.

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

  • Up to £1,000 for those on a household income of between £0 and £15,000
  • Up to £500 for those on a household income of between £15,001 and £20,000
  • Up to £200 for those on a household income of between £20,001 and £25,000

How will payments be made?

Up to 25% of the grant can be used to buy food with payments made through vouchers or a Post Office payout code which allows cash to be withdrawn at a post office branch. The remaining funding will be allocated for support with rising energy costs. These payments can be made directly to the supplier or paid through a Post Office payout code.

Only one COLAF 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.

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 (e.g., wages, benefits, pensions)
  • Details of your regular household expenditure
  • Details of any capital held by you/your partner

To apply please complete the application form. 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

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)

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Friday
    8.30am to 4.30pm