Two new council tax support schemes have launched today to help more Croydon residents struggling with paying their council tax bills as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new schemes, which were announced at cabinet last Monday, will see the Council Tax Hardship Fund expanded. The fund forms part of the council’s £4.4m package of council tax support for residents experiencing financial difficulty, because of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
Firstly, under this, any residents that are of working age making a new council tax support claim between 1 April and 30 May 2020 will receive up to £150 off their council tax bill, once their claim has been approved and processed. This additional support comes as the council has seen a 111% increase in council tax support claims compared to the same time last year, which equates to 1,698 new claims being received in the first three weeks of lockdown. This mirrors the help already provided for existing council tax support claimants.
Secondly, the council will support working age residents who are not entitled to council tax support but are suffering financially due to Covid-19. This includes self-employed residents who either have reduced or no earnings, residents that are unemployed or furloughed, and residents who have reduced work, notably those on zero hours employment contracts.
Residents wishing to apply for the Covid-19 hardship scheme funding can apply online here.
These new schemes follow the launch of two other packages of support that were put in place in March, to help residents with council tax payments, a reduction of up to £150 for existing council tax support claimants and two month deferral of council tax payments for others affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Councillor Simon Hall, cabinet member for finance and resources
“We are in unprecedented times and we remain acutely aware of the impact this is having on our residents, many of whom need support like this to be able to make their council tax payments.
“As a council we remain committed to supporting all of our residents in any way we can do and I am pleased we have been able to expand our council tax support offer to incorporate more of those in need. We will continue to reassess how we can support those who have found their financial circumstances change as a result of coronavirus.”