17th August 2023
Help with housing costs for people with children
I rent my home
Check whether you need to apply for Universal Credit or Housing Benefit for help towards your rent.
Applications for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and Universal Credit must be completed online.
If you receive Housing Benefit, or the housing cost element of Universal Credit, and you are struggling to pay your rent you can also ask us to consider giving you extra help, known as discretionary housing payments.
I have a mortgage
Your mortgage lender will be keen to help and will talk through your options.
They have to make reasonable attempts to make an agreement with you to change the way you make payments and when you make them.
- Citizens Advice has tips on how to work with your lender to reduce mortgage costs.
Help with mortgage interest
If you’re a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on:
- your mortgage
- loans you’ve taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home
This help is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI).
It’s paid as a loan, which you’ll need to repay with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your home (unless you’re moving the loan to another property).
You usually need to be getting, or treated as getting, a qualifying benefit to get SMI.
If you have a low income or are struggling to pay your bills can apply for financial support from your water provider.
Grants for energy debt
If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant to help pay it off.
Open to customers of all suppliers:
- British Gas Energy Trust, individuals and families fund – get up to £1,500 depending on your situation – apply via the British Gas Energy Trust website
Open to customers of the named supplier:
- British Gas Energy Trust Energy Support Fund – apply via the British Gas Energy Trust website
- EDF Energy Customer Support Fund – apply on the 'Let's Talk' web form or by call 0800 269 450
- E.on Next Energy Fund – apply on the 'Let's Talk' web form
- Octopus Energy Octo Assist Fund – apply on the Octopus web form (you must be logged into your account)
- Ovo Energy Hardship Scheme – call 0330 303 5063 or use the live chat
- Scottish Power Hardship Fund – apply via the Scottish Power's web form
- Shell Energy Support Fund - call Shell on 0330 094 5800
- Utility Warehouse Customer Support Scheme (in partnership with Citizens Advice) - call Utility Warehouse on 0333 777 0777
If your supplier isn’t listed it’s a good idea to contact them directly to see what extra support they can give you.