Local assistance fund vulnerability criteria


The vulnerability threshold is met by clients whose circumstances include any of the following three factors, as confirmed by the council Housing Options Team:

  • households that the housing authority has accepted the main homelessness duty to under S193 (2) Housing Act 1996
  • households that are homeless within the meaning of Part 7 of Housing Act 1996. This will include households that are intentionally homeless and not in priority need
  • households that are in a planned programme of support

Learning disabilities

The applicant must have an IQ under 70 or similar diagnosis as assessed by a health professional or have a learning disability that makes him/her eligible for social care services.

Physical disabilities

The applicant must have a physical impairment as assessed by a health professional which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities or have a physical disability that makes him/her eligible for social care services.

Mental health problems

The applicant must be receiving a service from NHS Tees, Esk and Wear Valley Mental health teams and/or our mental health teams.

Examples of services:

  • mental health wards
  • community mental health teams
  • early interventions psychosis
  • intensive home treatment team
  • street triage
  • mental health older peoples team
  • forensic team
  • eating disorders
  • assertive outreach team
  • our support time recovery service
  • our mental health teams

(If the applicant doesn’t recognise a team/service name, s/he is unlikely to be receiving a service from it)

An applicant receiving a mental health service could be seeing a:

  • nurse (ward based or otherwise)
  • community psychiatric nurse
  • occupational therapist
  • social worker
  • approved mental health professional
  • support time recovery worker

Recently released from prison

Applicants who are being supervised by the Probation Service, Community Rehabilitation Company or Foundation who are on a resettlement programme following release from prison may apply for assistance from the Fund.

Domestic abuse

  • domestic abuse such that the client has to leave the property where the abusive partner lives
  • the impact of financial abuse is such that the client has debt and the absence of basic necessities

The vulnerability threshold is met if the applicant has been assessed and is receiving support from the Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS) in North Yorkshire.


Someone who receives Carer’s Allowance or a Carer’s Premium. Only one carer for a cared-for individual can apply to the fund.

Drugs or alcohol dependence

The vulnerability threshold is met if the applicant has been assessed as having, and are receiving support for, a drug or alcohol dependency through the North Yorkshire drug and alcohol treatment service, currently North Yorkshire Horizons.

Family under exceptional pressure

An award should be made under this vulnerability to help members of a family to stay together.

What constitutes “exceptional pressure” covers a very wide range of personal circumstances but does not overlap with the other vulnerability criteria. Where this is the case (such as domestic abuse, caring responsibilities, mental health concerns) then the applicant must meet, and therefore apply under, the other relevant criteria.

A family under exceptional pressure must be assessed by, and working with, a relevant support agency, typically the our early help service.

The type of personal circumstances that would constitute “exceptional pressure” may be due to a sudden domestic upheaval imposed by an unforeseen calamity and could include, but is not limited to:

  • a house fire
  • a natural disaster such as flooding
  • a significant change of financial circumstance (for example job loss)
  • bereavement
  • a disaster that has resulted in the evacuation of all or part of a community to a different area

In the types of circumstances indicated above, consider carefully, having regard to all the facts of the case, whether it is appropriate to make an award.

"Family" in this section should be couples and single parents with children and people caring for children. Grants Assessors can use discretion in defining a family. When dealing with families under exceptional pressure:

you need to refer to the support that we provide to carry out its responsibilities under the Children Act 1989 (s.17 providing support – including financial assistance - for children in need) and any other support it provides. Refer to the list of alternative forms of support for this.

As with all other applications for assistance you should expect families under exceptional pressure who apply for an award to look our other sources of support first.