Help with the cost of living crisis

Cost of living support

Feeling stressed about money? Don’t be afraid to ask for help before it gets worse.

You may be entitled to extra government support or help from local services.

To make sure you are getting the right support, contact the council on 01865 249 811 or contact your local advice centre.

Debt and money advice

Free debt and money advice is available to help you deal with money pressures or plan ahead.

Always check the organisation you are taking advice from is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Some FCA registered providers are:

The government’s MoneyHelper web site also provides online advice and support, webchat to answer your questions, tools for managing money and debt, and information on reputable local advice and support organisations.

Housing support

Our housing team can help with issues for tenants in private sector or council rented housing. If you are at risk of losing your home contact us as soon as possible for support.

Connection Support is a regional housing support service to help you avoid eviction and gives support with issues linked to housing like domestic abuse, benefits and finding work. . You can call Connection Support on 01865 711 267 or complete the Housing Support Oxon referral form on their website Connection Support referral forms.

If you are a homeowner on benefits, you may be eligible for the government’s mortgage payment support towards interest payments on your mortgage.

Help with food costs

There are many ways of accessing free and low cost food in Oxford. These include:

  • Community fridges and larders, which provide free weekly groceries for a small membership fee. No referral needed
  • Community support groups, providing free food parcels without a referral
  • Food banks provide emergency food parcels, and normally require a referral

Good Food Oxford have provided a map of local food support services. Please check directly with the services what they offer, as these can change.

Help with energy costs

Oxford City Council tenants can self-refer to Energy Advice by emailing the team at

If you are on a low income and you live in a hard to heat house, you could be eligible for a grant to help fund improvements to your house to make it warmer and cheaper to live in. To find out more visit our Sustainable Warmth grant page.

Non-Council tenants struggling to pay gas or electric bills can contact Better Housing Better Health on 0800 1070044 (free call) or visit the Better Housing Better Health website. Better Housing Better Health is a single point of contact for information on keeping warm and lowering your energy bills.

Charis is an organisation specialising in funds and grant schemes on behalf of large energy companies.

To check if you are eligible for support, please visit the Charis Grants website.

Grants for private sector households to improve energy efficiency

Oxford City Council has been awarded £1.7 million pounds of grant funding to support energy efficiency improvements in the private housing sector. It is part of the Local Authority Delivery (LAD) funding via the Greater South East Energy Hub.

Who can benefit?

Private tenant and owner-occupiers who:

  • are on a low income. For example:
    • have a household income of under £30,000, or under £20,000 after rent or mortgage costs
    • are on means-tested benefits
    • an allowance will also be made for the number of children in a household, or if households have recently lost income.


  • live in a hard-to-heat house (Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or below)

What does the Sustainable Warmth grant cover?

The grant covers measures such as:

  • free loft, wall and underfloor insulation
  • solar panels
  • low carbon heating systems, like air source heat pumps (it does not cover boiler upgrades - fossil fuel heating systems are excluded from this scheme)

To find out more visit our Sustainable Warmth grant page.

Help for older, disabled and vulnerable tenants and homeowners

Oxford City Council’s Home Improvement Agency (HIA) helps older, disabled and vulnerable people to live safely and independently in their own homes by providing advice, assistance and grants for:

  • home adaptations
  • repairs
  • heating
  • dementia
  • falls prevention
  • safety within the home

We have several great initiatives trying to keep residents safe and warm this winter.

We currently offer FREE boiler servicing to home owners who are over 18 and disabled, or any homeowners who are 60 plus.

Eligible residents can also access funding for additional gas safe works. 

The following types of essential minor work can be carried out:

  • Boiler servicing, repairs or replacements if needed
  • Gas safety works - gas safety checks, gas servicing, gas boiler repairs, gas cookers, fires, gas pipework
  • Small Energy Repairs - FREE Energy Efficiency Service, such as: repairing or replacing thermostatic radiator valves, pipe and water tank insulation, draught proofing, and radiator foil behind external wall radiators

HIA also offer a handypersons scheme that will carry out small works within the home at a subsidised rate of £20/ph, if residents are eligible.

The service is offered to vulnerable homeowners who live within Oxford. Vulnerable tenants may also use the service for jobs that are not the responsibility of the landlord.

To find out more, please visit our Home Improvement Agency page.

Other support services