Flood-hit communities affected by Storm Henk can apply for funding to help them through the “extreme challenges” brought about by the rains and strong winds.
In a joint announcement by Communities Secretary Michael Gove and Environment Secretary Steve Barclay on Saturday, the two said financial support was available to eligible areas in England that experience “exceptional localised flooding” between January 2-8.
The Environment Agency said that, as of Saturday afternoon, more than 1,800 properties had flooded thanks to saturated ground, with warnings that the impact of high water levels is likely to continue over the next five days.
Mr Gove and Mr Barclay said those affected would “not have to deal with it alone” as they announced funding and tax relief for communities feeling the effects of flooding.
Flooded households in eligible affected areas can apply for up to £500 cash to help with immediate costs, said officials in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Households and businesses which have been significantly affected will be eligible for 100% council tax and business rates relief for at least three months, the department added.
Small-to-medium sized businesses in eligible areas can apply for up to £2,500 from the Business Recovery Grant to assist with the clean-up.
And farmers who have suffered uninsurable damage to their land will be able to apply for grants of up to £25,000 through the Farming Recovery Fund towards repair and reinstatement costs.
Looking to preventative measures, eligible flood-hit property owners can apply for up to £5,000 to help make their homes and businesses more resilient to future flooding via the Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant Scheme, the two Cabinet ministers said.
Mr Gove said: “If you’ve been affected by the recent severe flooding, you do not have to deal with it alone. We are providing financial help so you can recover as quickly as possible.
“We know families and businesses are facing extreme challenges right now and we are doing all we can with our partners across central and local government to ensure communities are supported.”
The financial assistance will be made available through a scheme called the Flood Recovery Framework, which is used in exceptional circumstances to support councils and communities following severe flooding, DLUHC said.
Support will be made available through councils, with local authorities due to announce further details on eligibility and how to apply.
Mr Barclay said: “I know how difficult flooding is for those affected and we will do all we can do support households, farmers and other businesses as they repair and rebuild.
“45,000 properties are already protected thanks to our flood defences, and I would like to pay tribute to the work of Environment Agency teams, first responders, and others.
“For those who have sadly been affected, our Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant Scheme will soon be open to help residents protect their property in the future, while our Farming Recovery Fund will support farmers who have suffered damage as they work to put food on our tables.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub