Housing & the cost of living

This page is under construction, 16 August 2022

The local picture

In 2022 it has become clear that the cost of living is increasing at an unprecedented rate for residents of the UK.

This page focuses on what the Housing Board for Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and West Suffolk can do to help to try to alleviate the effect of this increase.

Much of the Board’s role is about sharing information from a wide range of partners, on the help and support they can offer. These links are listed under “partners”.

However there are topics such as housing affordability which, while not in the direct control of the Housing Board, is an issue we can work on together aiming to ensure there are homes affordable to local people which are available, of a decent quality, and meet the individual household’s needs. These are listed under “resources”.


  • Central government “cost of living” webpage here


  • Cambridge City Council here
  • East Cambridgeshire District Council here
  • Fenland District Council here
  • Huntingdonshire District Council here
  • Peterborough City Council here
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council here
  • West Suffolk Council here


Some snippets from the Financial Capability Forum

  • British Gas reopens hardship fund. British Gas is reopening its hardship fund for non-customers on 1st July, with grants worth up to £1,500 for those who are struggling. To be eligible for the Energy Trust Individual and Families Fund, you need to live in England, Scotland or Wales and be in debt to your energy supplier. You must also have no more than £1,000 in savings and have already sought help from a money advice agency and have proof of this. (British Gas runs a separate Energy Support Fund for its own customers, which is open all year round.) Link: https://www.britishgas.co.uk/energy/british-gas-energy-trust.html


  • National Insurance threshold changes. The threshold for when you start paying National Insurance is rising from £9,880 to £12,570 on 6th July. It means roughly two million low-income workers will pay no National Insurance at all – while millions more will see their tax bill reduced compared to what they’re paying now. The changes come after the rate at which you pay National Insurance contributions was raised by 1.25 percentage points – from 12% to 13.25% – in April. It is still estimated that seven out of 10 people will pay less for National Insurance from July even with the 1.25 percentage point increase to the contributions.


  • Start of £650 cost of living payments. Millions of people who claim means – tested benefits will soon start to receive the first half of the £650 cost of living payment. If you get Universal Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support or Pension Credit, a payment of £326 should hit your bank account from 14th July. The second £324 payment is then expected to be sent to these households in the autumn – although no exact date has been confirmed yet. Those who claim tax credits will receive their first payment slightly later. The first installment is not expected to be processed until the autumn, with a second payment to follow in winter. Again, no timeline has been published


  • Funeral plans to be regulated. Pre-paid funeral plans will fall under Financial Conduct Authority regulation from 29th July, which means tougher checks on providers. One of the major changes is that customers will be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme should a company go bust. You will also be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you think you’ve been mistreated by a provider. Any funeral plan provider that isn’t authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority will be committing a criminal offence if it attempts to sell or administer a contract after 29th July.


(These snippets will be updated after each Forum meeting).


Housing affordability:

  • 2021 housing requirements study here
  • 2022 diamond affordability analysis (to be added September 2022), 2018 diamond affordability analysis and Savill’s 2018 housing affordability report for Greater Cambridge here