Support for people and businesses affected by flooding has been pledged by the government and banks
The government has announced thousands of pounds of support for people affected by flooding flowing Storm Dennis and Ciara.
Under the Flood Recovery Framework, families and businesses will receive funding from their local councils.
Under these measures, flood-hit households in affected areas can apply for up to £500 in financial hardship payments.
Households and businesses significantly affected by recent flooding will be eligible for 100% council tax and business rates relief for at least three months.
Small-to-medium sized businesses in affected areas which have suffered severe, uninsurable costs will be eligible for up to £2,500 from the Business Recover Grant.
Flood-hit homes will also be able to apply for up to £5,000 to help make them more resilient to future flooding.
These measures will only apply to districts or unitary authorities that have 25 or more flooded households as a result of storm Dennis and Ciara.
This comes after the government activated the emergency Bellwin scheme after Storm Ciara on 10 February and Storm Dennis on 17 February 2020.
Under the scheme, local authorities dealing with the flooding can apply to have 100% of their eligible costs, above a threshold, reimbursed by the government. This could be for items including rest centres, temporary accommodation and staff overtime.
The scheme was activated for qualifying areas in West Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire which have seen significant impacts following Storm Ciara.
It has also been activated for qualifying areas in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire and Herefordshire which have seen significant impacts following Storm Dennis.
Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick says: ”Storms Dennis and Ciara have severely impacted a large number of households and businesses – and I recognise how destabilising this can be.
“This extra support, including new funding, will help people in the worst-hit areas to recover and get back on their feet as soon as possible.
“I’d like to thank the emergency services and key agencies on the ground for their dedication and tireless work to help everyone affected in extremely challenging circumstances.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice MP says: “We’ve once again seen the devastating effects of floods on households and communities across the country. I want to thank our Environment Agency teams working on the ground around the clock with partners to deal with the ongoing impacts.
“We know climate change means extreme weather events like this are more likely, and are already investing £2.6 billion in flood defences by 2021, with over 600 projects already protecting 200,000 properties.
“This crucial funding will help people to make their homes more resilient and better protected if flooding happens again.”
NatWest steps in to help flood victims
High street bank, NatWest, is also introducing new measures to help support personal and business customers affected by serious flooding across England and Wales.
Personal NatWest customers may be eligible for:
- Mortgage and loan repayment deferral for up to three months
- Customers can close fixed savings accounts to access cash with no early closure charge
- Refunds on credit card cash advance fees
- Customers can apply for increased temporary credit card limit
- Customers can request an increased cash withdrawal limit of up to £500
- Insurance teams have deployed field personnel in branded vehicles to the flooded areas to give immediate response & advice to customers
- Insurance teams have identified and made contact with vulnerable customers
Business customers may be eligible for:
- Loan repayment holidays
- Interest rate reductions
- Temporary emergency loans with no fees
- Overdraft facilities
- Working capital support
- Helping with financing strategies via access to specialist bank staff
- Customers with deposit balances in Notice and/or Fixed Term products have immediate access to cash before 31st March, with no penalty for immediate access, and credit interest will accrue to the date of balance withdrawal
Rose, chief executive of NatWest Bank, says: “We are helping customers and business owners affected by the recent flooding by providing additional credit or access to finance where needed, so they can concentrate on getting their homes or businesses back to normal. “
“We would urge affected customers to get in touch with us, either by phone or in a branch, to discuss how we can help.”
Does home insurance cover flooding?
Most home buildings insurance policies – which protects the structure of your property - cover flooding as standard.
You will need to have a home contents insurance policy in place to cover flood damage to your belongings as well.
If you’ve been affected by Storm Dennis or Ciara it’s important to get in touch with your insurer as soon as possible.
Be sure to have your insurance policy documents and policy number to hand as this information will be requested during your call.
Why are areas in WALES which suffered severe damage NOT covered in the above or similar article?
Storm damage updates
Hi Wyn, the Welsh government has today announced that it will be giving flood affected families at lest £500 each and we will be updating this story with more details.