Renfrewshire Council

Help with the cost of living

Help with paying your bills, mortgage, rent or housing costs; benefits you could claim; emergency and crisis payments, money for food; free school meals and clothing grants; energy, broadband and mobile bills; funeral costs.

We understand that the cost of living is increasing the financial hardship faced by many, and people may be concerned about their ability to cover costs, make payments and pay bills, including Council Tax or rent payments.

On this page:


Help with paying your bills or mortgage

It's important to get the right advice as soon as you know you will struggle to pay your bills or your mortgage.

You should speak to your bank, energy supplier, our Council Tax team and any other organisation you are due to pay. Most organisations have ways to support you to change how you pay your bills or mortgage right now. 

Find out if you can get help with energy bills and what to do if you are struggling to pay your energy bills.

Find out about help with broadband and phone bills (social tariff). Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming benefits such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit.


Help with paying your rent or housing costs

If you're a council tenant, let us know if you have problems paying your rent.

If you rent from a private landlord and you can't pay your rent, there are temporary temporary emergency measures from the Scottish Government to support you.

You could also apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP), you're temporarily struggling to pay your rent or you do not have enough money to pay for a deposit, rent in advance or removal costs. If you have any queries about Discretionary Housing Payments, email our Benefits team at benefits.finit@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

You can also find out about your housing rights in the cost of living crisis, including the rent freeze, eviction ban and housing costs, on the Shelter Scotland website.


Benefits you could claim

You should apply for all the benefits that you are entitled to.

This can include:

If you get Housing Benefit or Council Tax reductions, let us know if your circumstances change.


Emergencies and crisis support

If you've had an emergency or are in crisis, you may be able to get help from one of these funds:

  • a Crisis Grant to help cover living costs in the case of an emergency, or to cover living costs and replace household goods as a result of a disaster such as a fire or flood.  
  • a Community Care Grant to help cover the costs of setting up or maintaining a home and to support individuals and families facing exceptional pressure.

If you don't have any money for food

You can apply for Universal Credit or a Crisis Grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

If you have children, you can apply for a Best Start Foods payment from Social Security Scotland.

Renfrewshire Foodbank can also help you with food if you are in crisis.


Free school meals and clothing grants

You may be able to apply for free school meals and clothing grants if you are a parent or guardian of a child and are in receipt of particular benefits.


Help with paying for a funeral

We're sorry to hear that you've suffered a bereavement.

You can apply for a Funeral Support Payment from Social Security Scotland.

See more information about death and bereavement support.


Who to ask for advice and support

You can call our Advice Works team on 0300 300 1238 or email adviceworks@renfrewshire.gov.uk for free, impartial and confidential advice about money and debt.

The Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau is a local, independent charity that provides free, impartial and confidential advice and information that will give you the tools you need to sort out any issues or problems. You can call them on 0141 889 2121.

These organisations and services can also help with money issues:

If these issues are affecting your mental health, find out where you can get help and support.