Cost of living crisis: What help and support is available in Liverpool for energy bills, food and more

There are many ways to seek help and advice as energy bills rise and the cost of living crisis continues.
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The cost of living crisis is affecting people across the country, with Liverpool one of the worst hit areas according to new figures.

Liverpool was massively affected by 2009 recession. Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Liverpool was massively affected by 2009 recession. Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty
Liverpool was massively affected by 2009 recession. Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty

The recent changes to the energy price cap, in force from October 1, have caused further worry and stress for many people, with an 80% increase in the cost of energy.

The price of household bills and mortgage payments for a typical family in Liverpool will hit a staggering £1,185 next month, exclusive analysis on behalf of LiverpoolWorld shows. This is £254 more per month than a year ago, a 27% rise.

According to the latest Index of Multiple Deprivation report, Liverpool is considered the third most deprived of 317 local authority areas. It was ranked as the fourth most deprived in 2015, having previously been ranked the most deprived in 2004, 2007 and 2010.

Liverpool City Region IMD rankings 2019. Image: Liverpool CouncilLiverpool City Region IMD rankings 2019. Image: Liverpool Council
Liverpool City Region IMD rankings 2019. Image: Liverpool Council

What support is available?

The following help is available for those affected by the cost of living crisis:

Benefits advice

Benefits advice is available at www.liverpool.gov.uk/bms and www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators allows you to find out what you’re eligible to claim. The service can be contacted on 0800 028 3697 or at any One Stop Shop. Social housing tenants can also seek advice from landlords.

Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme

If you find yourself in crisis you can apply for support to get food and basic necessities for you and your family including gas and electric vouchers (urgent needs) and furniture and household essentials (home needs). An emergency or crisis might be a fire or flood, or you have had to move due to violence or fear of violence, or you are leaving care or prison and need support to stay in the community. Find out more: liverpool.gov.uk/lcss.

Debt

Citizens Advice can help with debt. You can book appointments with a specialist advisor by calling 0344 848 7700 or visit www.citizensadviceliverpool.org.uk to find your local office.

Liverpool food bank. Image: Getty/Richard StonehouseLiverpool food bank. Image: Getty/Richard Stonehouse
Liverpool food bank. Image: Getty/Richard Stonehouse

Council Tax

The council can be contacted on 0800 028 3686 if you’re having problems paying your Council Tax, have Council Tax arrears, are struggling to pay back overpaid Housing Benefit, or owe other debts to the council.

Council Tax Support helps you pay some of your Council Tax if you are on a low income or claiming certain benefits. You can claim whether you own your home or rent, or whether you’re working or unemployed. Find out more: liverpool.gov.uk/counciltaxsupport

Free school meals

Apply today at www.liverpool.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals or call free phone 0800 028 3697.

Fuel and energy bills

Liverpool’s Healthy Homes team can provide free help and advice if you’re struggling to pay your fuel bills, and energy saving hints and tips to help keep you warm and your bills low. They may also be able to help with replacement boilers and windows. Visit liverpool.gov.uk/energyefficiency or call them on freephone 0800 0121 754.

Sustainable Warmth Fund

The grant is available to help 700 households across Liverpool. It can be used to install a number of insulation and energy measures to residential homes. Some of these measures may include cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, under floor insulation, air source heat pumps, solar panels and replacement windows and doors. It is available for households with a gross income under £30,000 and a property Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated at E, F or G. Find out more: https://liverpool.gov.uk/housing/fuel-bills-and-energy-efficiency/apply-for-a-sustainable-warmth-fund-grant/

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) can give you short term help to pay your rent when Housing Benefit or Universal Credit does not meet your rent in full. You can apply if you receive Housing Benefit or the housing cost element of Universal Credit or there is a shortfall between your rent and benefit entitlement. Find out more: liverpool.gov.uk/dhp

Community Food spaces

Feeding Liverpool – which is supported by Liverpool City Council – has created a map of community food spaces across the city. You can use it to find out more about food pantries and community shops near you. You can help tackle food waste, build community, and save money, all at the same time. Some may ask you to pay a small fee, to become a member first.

Support from charities and foodbanks

Local Solutions Wavertree

Local Solutions offer support to young people struggling with homelessness. The charity says the issue is worsening due to the cost of living crisis and young people end up trapped in a cycle of homelessness. The service provides support, emergency shelter and longer-term temporary housing. Find out more: https://www.localsolutions.org.uk/north-west-services/13-accommodation-and-support

Micah Liverpool: Emergency Food Aid and Community Market

Micah Liverpool’s food bank pantry sessions are open to anybody in need, where they will provide an emergency three day food parcel once a week, for four weeks. If after this period further support is needed, evidence shall be required.

Micah Liverpool is based at Liverpool Cathedral and operates two pantries a week where they provide three days of Emergency Food Aid for each guest. Find out more: https://www.thelivewelldirectory.com/Services/1961

Turn2Us

Turn2Us is a national charity offering free advice for those struggling financially. Their resources include a benefits calculator to check someone’s eligibility for government support, a database of grants and a helpline to seek advice. Find out more: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/

Step Change

Step Change is a national charity helping those with debt. They offer advice, help with debt relief and can help with repayment plans. Find out more: https://www.stepchange.org/how-we-help.aspx

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