We are often asked what is the crisis loan replacement? and the cold hard truth is that there is nothing set up nationally to replace Crisis Loans
Since the Social Fund was disbanded in 2013 and the Government removed the discretionary loans provision that included Rent in Advance and Crisis loans there has been a sharp decline in the number of ways that people can access emergency help when they have no alternative means of support or income.
With the scrapping of the Crisis loan provision the government asked local authorities to offer an alternative in the form of the Local Welfare fund, whilst this was intended to be a safety net for vulnerable families it is not as accessible as the old loans system and can not be classed as being a crisis loan replacement as in most cases service users are asked to attend the Job Centre for a referral for Food Vouchers or a referral to the local food bank.
Nearly two years on and the crisis loan alternatives are clearly staining under the pressure to deliver emergency help with ever decreasing budgets that are no longer as well funded by central government and we have seen dozens of local authorities having to make the decision to totally withdraw support and rely solely on the voluntary and charitable sectors for support.
At present the only real crisis loan alternatives are: