Household Support Fund (HSF)

The HSF grant is a one-off award that could help to buy food, gas, and electricity.

The Household Support Fund can help if you are facing hardship or crisis and you are on a low income.

The scheme provides support, such as vouchers, wherever possible, rather than cash grants. Funding is provided by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to Local Authorities to directly help those who need it the most. Currently, we have been experiencing a large increase in demand from people requiring support provided by the Fund.

Targeted support funding has been allocated to some key areas in the council such as Adult and Children's Social Care, Council Tax and Education. These services will contact residents directly.

The fund will close as soon as the value of the funding provided by the DWP has been allocated.

Who can apply

Funding is aimed at anyone who’s vulnerable, in crisis or hardship, and cannot pay for essential items. You do not need to be receiving benefits to get help. If you get benefits, they will not be affected if you get a payment from a Household Support Fund scheme.

To be eligible for this fund, you must:

  • live in Croydon 
  • be over 18 years of age

Priority will be given to first time applicants, who are not eligible for other types of help.

How the fund can help

The fund can help your household meet living costs.  You can apply on a case-by-case basis for help in the following areas:

Financial assistance


  • top-ups for pre-paid energy and water meters 
  • assistance with energy and water bills debts 
  • food vouchers
  • housing support (in exceptional circumstances, excluding mortgage payment)

Essential appliances


  • slow cookers
  • microwaves
  • cookers (gas cookers are only provided in exceptional circumstances)
  • fridges
  • heaters

You can only use the fund for one household appliance per application.

Items for essential transport


  • travel tickets
  • bicycles and helmets

Before you apply

Please read the following information carefully. Your application may be delayed if we do not have the correct details.

What you will need for your application

You will need to provide evidence of low income and crisis or hardship to help us assess your application. Evidence is required for anyone in the household over 18 years old, including joint bank accounts. This will help us to assess your application.


If you are applying for food vouchers, you will need to provide:

  • a bank statement showing your current balance (this can be a mini statement from a cash machine)

Emergency gas or electric top-up

If you are applying for emergency fuel top-up, you will need to provide:

  • a bank statement showing your current balance (this can be a mini statement from a cash machine)
  • when you will receive your next universal credit or wage payment

Gas, electric, or water bills

If you are applying for help with your gas, electric, or water bills debt, you will need to provide:

  • one month's bank statement
  • one month's proof of income
  • your most recent bill(s)

Household costs

If you are applying for help for household costs or to buy household items, you will need to provide:

  • one month's bank statement
  • one month's proof of income

How to apply

Complete the online form below.

Apply now

If you are in urgent need of food, please email for an emergency food bank referral.


After you have applied

Application turnaround time is up to 2 weeks. However, in urgent cases it will be done within 1 to 3 working days.  

We will use the following criteria to assess your application:

  • priority will be given to first time applicants, those not eligible for other types of help
  • evidence of a low income, a crisis or hardship
  • risk of escalation (including referral from statutory services), and 
  • an identified need, for example, vulnerability disability, health issue, carer, children 
  • typically, one household appliance only per application is allowed
  • support with housing costs will only be provided in exceptional circumstances.
  • additional discretion can be applied in exceptional circumstances 
  • it will not be awarded for ongoing housing costs or unsustainable tenancies. 
  • it will not be awarded to provide mortgage support.

You will be notified by email or letter if your application is successful. The email or letter will include all details on how your grant will be paid.

Further support