Financial insecurity: guidance to local authorities over winter 2021-2022

Guidance to assist local authorities in deploying funding to support households experiencing financial insecurity over the winter 2021-2022.

This guidance is to assist local authorities in deploying £25 million flexible funding to support households experiencing financial insecurity over the Winter, as announced on 29 October 2021.

The purpose of the flexible funding is to enable local authorities to support wellbeing by preventing and responding to financial insecurity. The guidance provides a strong steer in favour of cash-first responses, and the integration of money advice and holistic support services to prevent future hardship.

Local authorities have flexibility to adapt interventions to meet emerging needs. Action may include supplementing local budgets for the Scottish Welfare Fund to meet demand, boosting local funding for Discretionary Housing Payments, proactive assistance for those likely to experience hardship – including people who may have been impacted by the recent UK Government cut to Universal Credit and those who may not be eligible for mainstream support -  and other action to support wellbeing.

The flexible funding is not a restricted public fund under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, unless it is allocated towards activities that are themselves restricted.

This guidance provides:

  • Background, including funding arrangements and who is at risk
  • Guiding principles on how resources might be targeted and deployed;

Annexes give further detail on tools to support delivery and key at-risk groups. Funding will be allocated to local authorities through a redetermination to General Revenue Grant with payments in the final two weeks of the current financial year.

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