Wednesday, 6 January 2016

UPDATE: Help for those affected by flooding

Here is the latest help that is available to people who have suffered damage to homes and businesses.

The latest information about the schemes which the Government is providing is available below.

Most of these schemes are being administered through local councils, so the best way to find out what you are eligible for and how to apply for it is to check the information available here: 
or call Northumberland County Council on 0345 600 6400

Here is a summary of the main schemes: 

Community Recovery scheme 

This money has been provided to councils for local recovery priorities such as helping people made homeless by the floods, finding temporary accommodation, mental health and wellbeing support and waste disposal. Information about how to access these resources is available from the council (details above).

Property Level Resilience scheme 

This is money to help households and businesses pay for work to their flooded properties to increase their resilience against future flooding. Up to £5,000 per affected property is available. Information about how to apply for the scheme is available from the council (details above).

Business Support scheme 

This is money to help businesses to recover from the impact of the floods and to make themselves more resilient to severe weather events in the future. The priority will be direct grants to flood-hit small and medium-sized businesses. Contact the Council for details of how to apply.

Council tax discounts 

Government will fund council tax relief in the following circumstances:

  •  A 100% discount for any domestic property flooded as a result of the storms in December for a minimum of three months or while anyone is out of their home due to flood damage. 
  •  A 100% council tax discount on temporary accommodation for anyone out of their homes (in addition to the discount on their flooded property). 
  • Discounts will be also available for properties where access was cut off, or services were unavailable, as a result of the floods, even if the home itself was not flooded (e.g. a 2nd floor flat). Council tax relief will be provided by your local district council, who will determine the final administrative arrangements.
Business rates relief:

The Government will fund 100 per cent rate relief for a minimum of three months or until the business restarts trading from the property, up to state aid de minimis levels, in the following circumstances:

  •  For any day the property was flooded in whole or in part as a result of adverse weather conditions; and
  • on that day, as a result of the flooding at the property, the business activity undertaken at the property was adversely affected; and
  • the rateable value of the property on that day was less than £10 million. 
Business rate relief will be provided through the Council, who will determine the final administrative arrangements.

Support for farmers:

Support payments worth up to £20,000 will be available to farmers who have been affected by flooding to help restore damaged agricultural land. They should contact the Rural Payments Agency contact centre on 03000 200 301.

The application form is available here: 

You may also wish to know that Environment Agency’s Floodline service (0345 988 1188) is available to sign-post callers to relevant recovery support initiatives that are being provided by the council for householders and businesses.