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Resident Support Scheme

If you are affected by benefit cuts and/or are struggling financially the following support is available.

Budgeting Loans and Budgeting Advances

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) gives budgeting loans to help pay for essential things like rent, furniture, clothes or hire purchase debts. The smallest amount you can borrow is £100. Budgeting loans are interest free so you only pay back what you borrow. You normally have to repay the loan within two years. You can apply for a loan if you’ve been getting income-related benefits for at least 26 weeks. 

To find out more visit or visit your local Jobcentre Plus office.

Budgeting Advances will replace Budgeting Loans for those eligible claimants receiving Universal Credit. If you receive Universal Credit we recommend that you visit your local Jobcentre Plus Office and enquire about a Budgeting Advance. 

Read a short information sheet about budgeting advances from the DWP.

Short Term Benefit Advances

These are for people who make (or are about to make) a new claim to benefit and need help before receiving their first payment, or someone who has experienced a change of circumstances that will increase the amount of benefit to which they are entitled. Short Term Benefit Advances are available to claimants of any contributory or income-related social security benefit, including Universal Credit, from 1 April 2013. Find out more from your local Jobcentre Plus office. 

Read an information sheet about short term budgeting advances from the DWP.

Hardship Payment

If Jobseekers Allowance has been stopped as a result of a penalty (known as a sanction) then you may be able to get a hardship payment if you are suffering financial hardship and are in a vulnerable group. This could be if you have children in your household or a health problem. To request a hardship payment you need to check with your local Jobcentre Plus office. 

Some information is available in the Jobseeker’s Allowance Leaflet

Young care leaver exemption

Local authority care leavers do not pay council tax in Islington until the age of 25. Read more on our young care leaver exemption page.

Residents Support Scheme

Residents can also apply for Islington's Resident Support Scheme (RSS). This scheme is a response to the government changes and was set up by the council and the Cripplegate Foundation. The RSS offers assistance to residents facing exceptional hardship. There are no cash payments.

You should consider applying for DWP’s Budgeting Loans, Budgeting Advances, Short-term Advances and Hardship Payments before making any application to the RSS.

The RSS is not just a grant, the aim of the scheme is to enable our most vulnerable residents -  who cannot access any other support -  to sustain their home, health, family and security.

Through it, we will provide financial assistance to low income residents, for example, to purchase essential household items, address a shortfall in rent caused by Housing Benefit cuts, or to help with living expenses for those affected by crisis or disaster.

The Resident Support Scheme is a fund made up of:

  • discretionary Housing Payments

  • payments previously made through elements of the Social Fund by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

  • Islington Council’s new welfare provision for council tax relief in exceptional circumstances [which in the regulations is known as Section 13A(1)(c)]

  • Cripplegate Foundation’s former Grants to Residents scheme

  • the St Selpuchre (Finsbury) United Charities former Grants to Residents scheme

Applicants need only apply once to be considered for these grants and services.

In addition to providing grants, the scheme will also offer residents other forms of support to help improve their circumstances.

  • Money and income – everyone accessing the scheme will be offered an automatic benefits check. Residents will also be supported with money advice and specialist help with fuel debts.

  • Employment and training –  if relevant to their circumstances residents will be offered, for example, advice on courses, volunteering opportunities, and CV preparation.

  • Social well being – where relevant, support will be provided to help reduce social isolation, enable community involvement, and build residents’ capabilities.

How can you apply for RSS?

If you have a social worker, support worker or you are a tenant (of the housing providers listed below) who needs help to remain in your tenancy, you can seek help through one of the following services, they can apply for you:

  • Children’s Services, Adult Social Services or Housing Services, Age UK, Single Homeless Project, Solace Women's Aid, Cranstoun Drug Services, Centre 404, Peabody, Hyde, Circle or Partners for Improvement

You can also:

  • Visit Contact Islington at 222 Upper Street, N1 1XR. If you are housebound then someone from the RSS Visiting Team can visit your home to make an application. Call 020 7527 3698 or email to arrange a visit.

The following organisations can also support the people they assist to make a referral to the Resident Support Scheme:

  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Islington Law Centre
  • Islington People's Rights
  • Disability Action in Islington


Arab Alliance Bureau
Look Ahead Housing Association
Barnsbury Housing Association The Manna - St Stephens
Broadway Mind
Crown Housing Association Newlon Housing Trust
The Elfrida Society One Housing and One Support
Family Mosaic Origin Housing
Guinness Trust Penrose Options
Help on Your Doorstep Peter Bedford Housing Association
Irish Centre Housing Pilion Trust
Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association St Luke’s Community Centre
Islington Community Alcohol Service St Mungo's
Islington Carers Hub  Toynbee Hall
 IMECE Women's Centre  

Resident Support Scheme - Recommender and Referrer Declaration

This form is a declaration for referral agencies to  print off and complete as part of the Resident Support Scheme (RSS) process. Fair-Processing-Notice-Consent-Declaration-and-Info-to-Customer.

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