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Flood-hit homeowners can apply for financial help and council tax relief

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The government has announced a major package of support for storm-hit areas in England, including a financial hardship payment and council tax relief for homeowners.

People affected by the devastating flooding following storms Dennis and Ciara, can apply for help under the government’s Flood Recovery Framework.

Flood-hit householders will be eligible for up to £500 in financial hardship payments from the local council. Those significantly affected will also be entitled to receive council tax relief for at least three months.

In addition, homeowners can apply for Defra’s Property Flood Resilience Scheme, which offers up to £5,000 to help make their properties more flood-resistant in the future. The money can be used to pay for a range of property improvements such as the installation of flood doors and raising electrics off ground level.

In order to be considered, people must live in affected district or unitary authorities that have 25 or more flooded households as a result of the recent storms, such as West Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire.

Local government secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, said: “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.”

The measures apply to England only as flooding is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

The government is currently investing £2.6bn in flood defences by 2021 and 600 projects already protect 200,000 properties.

Separately, NatWest is letting customers who have been affected by the serious flooding across England and Wales defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months.

The bank said this was to give customers the chance to “concentrate on getting their homes and businesses back to normal”. 

Other assistance to customers includes allowing them to close fixed savings accounts with no early closure charge so they can access cash. They will also be able to apply for a temporary increase to credit card limits or increased withdrawal limits of up to £500. 

As of 4pm yesterday, there were six severe flood warnings, 148 flood warnings and 188 flood alerts in place. Further heavy rain is expected to fall later in the week on areas already affected by the storms.

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