A hardship fund set to benefit those within the Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC) area during the cost-of-living crisis has been delayed, it has been confirmed.
Last month, members of the council approved a budget of £258,000 for a Discretionary Emergency Fuel Support Programme to support those going through fuel poverty.
It was expected that the fund would be rolled out today Monday, October 17, but MyDerry can reveal that due to the council's being unable to appoint a fuel payment partner, the scheme has been delayed short term.
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The payment will allow over 2000 households in the DCSDC area to receive £100 towards their home heating oil, an electricity top-up, and two £49 top-ups for gas if they meet certain criteria.
The eligibility criteria included having a member of the household entitled to Free School Meals, being in debt with an energy provider, having a vulnerable person within a household, being unemployed, having a zero-hour contract, and earning a gross annual income of under £40,000.
In a statement, a DCSDC spokesperson said: "[Derry City and Strabane District Council] is experiencing a short delay in rolling out [the] Emergency Fuel Support Programme following the unsuccessful appointment of a fuel payment partner following a procurement process.
"The council confirmed that another process has been instigated and while this will result in a short delay, it is hoped the matters will be resolved quickly and Council will be in a position to provide a further update soon."
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