SFHA welcomes additional funding to help tenants facing fuel poverty

SFHA welcomes additional funding to help tenants facing fuel poverty

Sally Thomas

Additional funding provided by the Scottish Government for the Social Housing Fuel Support Fund will help almost 30,000 more social housing tenants with spiralling fuel costs,  the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has said.

The fund is part of the Scottish Government’s wider Fuel Insecurity Fund. SFHA administers the fund for housing associations and co-operatives to provide direct support to their tenants who are struggling with energy costs.

Round three of the Social Housing Fuel Support Fund, launched in August 2022, was oversubscribed within 36 hours, with almost £6 million of bids being received for the £2m funding available. This additional investment through the Scottish Government’s Emergency Budget Review last year, has now been distributed and allowed all of the original applicants to benefit and in turn be able to provide valuable, much needed support for their tenants.

In the latest round of funding, which takes a cash-first approach wherever possible, 69 organisations received funding for initiatives including:

  • fuel vouchers
  • clearance or reduction of fuel arrears
  • cooking equipment such as air fryers and slow cookers for tenants
  • essential warmth items such as winter duvets and heated throws.

This increased allocation meant that in total 90 projects, representing 86% of Scottish housing association and cooperatives, have accessed funding, either directly or in partnership.

Over 55,000 households will be supported through this funding,

Sally Thomas, SFHA chief executive, said: “The Scottish Government’s additional funding to help tenants who are struggling with soaring energy bills will make a huge difference. The funds will help housing associations and co-operatives continue their vital work in tackling poverty and help tenants to stay warm this winter.”

Cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport, Michael Matheson, said: “The Scottish Government is continuing to do everything in our power to mitigate the impact of the energy price crisis on consumers, and subsequently prioritised support to double our Fuel Insecurity Fund to £20 million this year. I am pleased that this additional investment to the SFHA has been targeted through the latest round of their Social Housing Fuel Support Fund, getting direct, tangible support to some of the most vulnerable and at-risk households across the country.

“This remains a deeply unsettling time for many thousands of people struggling to meet their energy costs and we continue to work with energy companies, consumer organisations and the third sector to support as many people as possible with their energy bills, while continuing to call on the UK Government to carefully consider the impact that the forthcoming price cap rise and ongoing support from April, will have on those that are in or at risk of fuel poverty.”

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