Help with food and household bills

Find out what help and advice is available if you are struggling to pay for food, rent and other household bills.

If you need urgent help

If you are experiencing an emergency or crisis and meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for support with food, energy and essential household items through the Local Welfare Support Scheme.

Find out more about the support offered, the criteria and how to apply.

If you have nowhere to sleep tonight, or are worried about being homeless in the near future, you can get help from Leeds Housing Options.


Getting food in an emergency

To get a referral to a foodbank or an emergency food parcel you need to either:

Reduce your food costs

Find advice on ways to lower your food bill at Money Saving Expert.

For help and advice to eat better and waste less visit the Love Food Hate Waste website.

Claim benefits

If you have to take time off work and do not get paid, you might be able to claim benefits.

To get started:

Help to apply for benefits

Our welfare rights team can:                    

  • give you free, confidential, impartial advice and support on a whole range of welfare benefits
  • help you to complete claim forms
  • offer guidance and support when making appeals



Phone: 0113 376 0452
(Monday to Thursday 9am to 4.30pm, Wednesdays 10:15am to 4:30pm and Fridays 9am to 4pm)

Rent, mortgages and repairs

Council tenants

If you’re having problems keeping up with your rent payments contact our housing team. They will discuss payment plans with you, and help you find other support if you need it.                            

If you already receive Housing Benefit or the housing part of Universal Credit, you may be able to apply for a one-off payment to help with your rent or housing costs.

Private tenants

If you rent your home from a private landlord you could explain your situation to them and ask them for a rent holiday.

We can help if:                            

  • your landlord is not keeping their property in a safe and liveable condition
  • you are worried about eviction
Read our help for private tenants.

Help to pay rent and repairs

If you receive Housing Benefit or the housing part of Universal Credit, you may be able to apply for a one-off payment to help with your rent or housing costs


You can speak to your mortgage provider and ask for a holiday from paying your mortgage.                            

You could also apply for support to pay the interest on your mortgage on GOV.UK external link.                            

Other bills

Council tax

You can find help and support to pay your council tax on our problems paying your council tax page.                            

Gas and electric

If you are finding it difficult to pay your gas and electric bills you can contact your energy supplier to arrange to pay them back at a more affordable rate.

Find out how to switch supplier for a better energy deal on the Citizens Advice website.

Reducing your energy bills

These organisations and schemes can help with advice and funding to make energy saving improvements to your home.

Better Homes Yorkshire

Better Homes Yorkshire can help you to find grants and funding.                            

Find out about the energy saving options offered by Better Homes Yorkshire and how to apply.                            

Green Doctor

Green Doctor provide free practical energy advice to help you save money, and keep you warm and well at home.                            

Find out more on the Green Doctor website external link.                            

Home Plus

Home Plus is an independent energy advice service. They can help with:                            

  • switching to the cheapest energy deal
  • servicing and repairs to heating and hot water systems
  • energy saving equipment and advice
  • draught proofing and insulation

Find out how to save money on your bills with Home Plus.                            

TV licence

You can choose how often and by what method you want to pay for your TV licence to make it easier to manage your money. Find out how to change your payments on the TV Licence website.                            


Find out about payment options for your water bill on Yorkshire Water's website.                            

They may be able to help with your water bill if you are struggling financially.                            

Clothing and school uniform

Low cost clothing can be bought from:

You can also swap adult clothes in good condition using the Leeds Community Clothes Exchange.                            

School uniform

Your child's school may be able to help with school uniform costs. Alternatively, find out about the Leeds School Uniform Exchange.

Find a new job

If you are currently out of work, we can help you to find a job, retrain or plan your next steps. Find out how to get help from Employment and Skills Leeds External link.

You can also:

Debt and money advice

You can get debt and money advice on the Citizens Advice website.

To speak to someone online, on the phone or by email visit Leeds Citizens Advice.

You can also find local organisations that provide free, independent and confidential advice with:

  • debt and money
  • benefits
  • utilities and household bills
  • food
  • affordable financial services

Find out which organisations can help you on the Leeds Money Information Centre website.

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