Help with the cost of living

We know it is a difficult time for everyone with the rise in the cost of living. Help and support is available including support from us if you are struggling to pay council bills.

Find benefits and financial support

The government has an online tool to check which benefits and financial support you can get.

You can also check if you are eligible for Pension Credit. Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income.

Local support

Harlow Citizens Advice Bureau (0808 278 7856) - a local registered charity who offer free, confidential, impartial, accredited advice and information on a wide range of areas.

Harlow Foodbank (01279 724515) - designed to help individuals and families in crisis by providing free emergency food until the appropriate agencies are in a position to assist.

Essex Essential Living Fund - funding for people who live in Essex, which can help pay for furniture, household furnishings, white goods, clothing and footwear, including school uniforms in exceptional circumstances, general living expenses such as groceries, nappies, toiletries and money for pay-as-you-go fuel meters.

National support

Money Helper - free and impartial help with money, backed by the government.

National Debtline (0800 808 4000) - free and independent debt advice over the phone and online.

StepChange Debt Charity (0800 138 1111) - expert debt advice and fee-free debt management.

Help with council bills

Please contact us straight away if you are having genuine difficulty in paying your council bills. If you are having difficulties call 01279 446655.

Help with Council Tax

You can apply for Council Tax Support to help you pay your Council Tax if you’re on a low income or claiming welfare benefits.

If you receive Council Tax Support, but still struggle to pay your Council Tax, you may be able to apply for an Exceptional Hardship Payment (EHP).

An EHP is usually paid for a short time to help you make steps to pay your Council Tax in the future.

Help with your rent

You may be able to claim Universal Credit which can include help with housing costs.

You may be able to receive extra short-term help with your rent by applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

You can claim a DHP if you already receive the housing element of Universal Credit, or receive Housing Benefit, but need help to meet your rent.

Supported housing tenants

If you are having problems paying your rent, please speak to your Housing Support and Telecare Officer.

Council leaseholders

If you are experiencing difficulties paying your annual service charges or major works invoice, contact the Home Ownership team on 01279 446206 or email