More people could receive funding to help recover from the Boxing Day floods, as Calderdale Council’s Cabinet discuss the eligibility criteria of flooding grants.
In response to the devastating flooding on Boxing Day, funding was made available to support affected households and businesses.
To date, Calderdale Council has paid over £2 million to properties affected by the floods, but the rate at which applications have been received is slowing, despite many eligible properties not yet submitting a claim.
To help address this and aid the flood recovery effort, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will consider a number of recommendations to build upon the current grants in place and make it easier for affected homes and businesses to apply.
There are a number of grant schemes available for homes and businesses damaged by flood water, including a Repair and Renew grant of up to £5000 for work to protect against future flooding.
Both homes and businesses can apply for a Repair and Renew grant, and if both your home and business was affected you can apply for both properties.
Buildings need to be assessed before work to look at possible flood protection, but this can be by an insurance loss adjustor, builder or surveyor. However, residents and businesses are able to just apply for funding to cover the cost of an initial assessment to remove the fear of incurring costs if there is no feasible work.
To further assist property owners, it’s proposed that the Council commission surveyors to assist businesses and residential property owners to apply and improve flood resilience.
It’s also proposed that this funding is extended to cover ‘near miss’ properties, who did not suffer damage in the Boxing Day floods, but which are ‘at risk’. Up to £5000 can be claimed to protect these buildings against any further flooding.
The Council has also provided a hardship payment of £500 for affected homes and businesses. Over 1500 applications have been received for this funding with almost £750,000 already paid out.
Officers are now visiting properties who haven’t applied to encourage residents who were flooded to make a claim.
There are also properties which have been severely affected by the floods, but water did not actually enter the building. It’s proposed that the hardship payment of £500 and the Repair and Renew grant of £5000 is made available for properties affected by landslips and rubble deposits caused by the floods.
Cabinet will also discuss the possibility of funding a programme of marketing, events and festivals to assist affected communities and support the retail and tourism economy in flood hit towns.
The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said:
“The Council is doing all it can to help residents recover from the flooding. There are a number of grant schemes available for properties damaged by flood water, including a £500 hardship grant and a Repair and Renew grant of up to £5000 for work to protect against future flooding.
“We want to make sure that this funding is available for as many people as possible whose homes or businesses have been devastated by the floods. To try and help, we’re looking at a number of ways that the criteria for these grants can be clarified and extended to help people recover.
“We’ll also be looking at helping communities get back on their feet, and will be exploring ideas for an event similar to the 2012 Valley of Lights, to boost trade, footfall and rebuild confidence.”
The recommendations will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 7 March at Halifax Town Hall, starting at 4pm.