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Flood Grants

Information and forms for flood grants, including the Community Recovery Grant, Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant Scheme and Business Repair Grant.

 

Apply for a Community Recovery Grant

The deadline for applications was 5pm on Friday 12 April 2024. Applications have now closed.

Households will be eligible for a £500 community recovery grant if their residence was deemed to have been impacted by Storm Henk between 2nd to 12th January 2024, (for example, the residence was flooded internally or was unliveable for a period of greater than 48 hours).
 

Qualifying criteria for residential properties

The property you are applying for must be your primary residence. Second or empty homes are not eligible.

Flood water must have entered the inside living space of your property. Porches, greenhouses, garages, sheds and outhouses will not be considered as eligible for this scheme.

Or

Your property must have been unliveable for at least 48 hours because:

  • access to the property was severely restricted (for example, upper floor flats with no access)
  • key services such as sewerage, draining and electricity were severely affected
  • flooding has caused significant damage to the property meaning it would be or would have been advisable for you to leave the premises for any period of time, regardless of whether they did vacate or not

If you have read the qualifying criteria and still believe you qualify for support, then register your details using our Community Recovery Grant form. We will then assess your claim as soon as possible and contact you.

 

Bank statements

If you are unable to complete the section of the form that requires a copy of your bank statement, you will need to submit this information in a different way. You may:

  • bring your bank statement to the reception desk at the council offices
  • post your bank statement to the council offices (West Berkshire Council, Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD) marking it for the attention of the Revenues and Benefits Team
  • email your bank statement to floodgrants@westberks.gov.uk.

Please note that if you post or hand deliver your bank statement, your application will take longer to process.
 

If you have any queries regarding the Community Recovery Grant, please contact floodgrants@westberks.gov.uk.

 


Council Tax discount

Applications have now closed.

A 100% Council Tax discount may be awarded for a minimum of three months, if your property meets the above criteria, or longer if you are unable to return to the property.

If you are unable to return home, a 100% Council Tax discount may be awarded in respect of temporary accommodation, in parallel with the discount on your primary residence.

If you have completed a Community Recovery Grant application form, we will complete this assessment on your behalf.
 

If you have any queries regarding the Council Tax discount, please contact floodgrants@westberks.gov.uk.

 


Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant Scheme

The purpose of the Property Flood Resilience (PFR) repair grant scheme is to assist home and business owners to improve the flood resilience of their individual properties when they repair them after a flood. The outcome from this funding should be that if flooding were to reoccur, damage levels would be considerably lower, and property owners and businesses could return to their properties much more quickly.

Up to £5,000 (including VAT) is available per property to make homes and businesses more flood resilient and to allow them to recover more quickly from future flooding.

The grant is available to improve the flood resilience of a property; it is not compensation for flood damage, nor is it to be used for speculative work. It is for improvements to a property to reduce future flood damage. Only fully completed works that improve the flood resilience of a property will be reimbursed.
 

Eligibility

Your property must have been internally damaged by flooding between 2nd January 2024 and 12th January 2024 as a result of Storm Henk. Flooding must have been caused by heavy rainfall, a river or watercourse overflowing, or by groundwater.

Please be aware that as part of the Expression of Interest stage, you will need to provide evidence that your property flooded, for example photographs or insurance claims.

Only the property owner can apply for the grant.

The grant is only available to:

  • residential properties - where habitable internal areas of the property have been damaged by flooding during this event (this includes static caravans where this is the primary residence)
  • businesses/social enterprises and charities - where internal areas of the premise which are critical to the day to day operations (not storage sheds or warehouses) have been damaged by flooding during this event
  • holiday lets that are operated as a business and where non-domestic rates are paid
  • a bed and breakfast property where:
    • i. the owner lives on site and said property is their principal residence, and
    • ii. they may pay both domestic and non-domestic rates

The grant is only available to people where the habitable living or business area of the properties have been damaged by entry of flood water, necessitating drying out and/or repairs to the fabric of the building.

Properties not eligible include:

  • properties that flooded from sewerage system (unless wholly or partly caused by an increase in the volume of rainwater entering or otherwise affecting the system or from a burst water main
  • garages, outhouses, storage areas, basements and cellars not used as part of the habitable or business area of the property
  • second or empty homes
  • properties should be covered by insurance or product guarantees (for example: repair of previously installed resilience measures or the costs of drying out)

Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) should be considered 'one front door' except where they are separate for council tax purposes, in which case, each individual council taxpayer will be eligible. Blocks of flats should be treated under the same principles as HMOs.

Only properties, or parts thereof, directly impacted by the flood within multi-occupancy buildings are eligible for the scheme.

Premises occupied through leasehold are eligible. The freehold owner of a flooded building is eligible for a grant from the scheme to contribute towards the cost of making recoverable repairs to the shared spaces of a building impacted by flooding, especially where this complements work being carried out to individual properties through the scheme.

Properties that have received the following previous grants are not eligible:

  • previous PFR Grants from the schemes that were put in place in 2013/14, 2015/16, November 2019, February 2020.

However, where a survey suggests that extra resilience measures should be installed over and above what was previously installed under a PFR Grant Scheme and these are not insurable, the Local Authority can consider eligibility on a case-by-case basis. The survey in such cases would be carried out at the risk of the occupier by a suitably qualified professional and the cost redeemed as part of the Grant if the application is successful. Decision is at Local Authority discretion and should be in exceptional cases only and represent good value for money.

Properties that have previously had resistance measures installed (through a Flood Defence Grant in Aid (GiA) scheme, for example) and which have since experienced internal flooding, are eligible for this scheme. However, this grant should only be used for new recoverable adaptations (such as the additional cost of replacing drywall with resilient alternatives) that were not eligible for the GiA scheme. It cannot be used to replace any damaged measures installed under the terms of the GiA scheme.

Uninsured domestic properties and businesses are also eligible.

Many insurers are now offering 'Build Back Better' (BBB) payments. This means that households can claim an additional amount as part of their flood claim, which will fund measures which will improve the flood resilience of the property.  This can include carrying out surveys to understand the flood risk and potential mitigation, the addition of flood resistance measures such as flood doors, and flood resilience measures such as the replacement of damaged parts of the home with more flood resilient materials such as hard floors. People who have BBB as part of their insurance claim can apply to have a PFR grant but it is recommended that customers engage with their insurers in the first instance where they are eligible for BBB.
 

Please complete our Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant form to register your property and receive your unique reference number. Once your eligibility is confirmed by our team, you will receive a full application form and guidance on how to meet the grant requirements.

The deadline to submit an expression of interest is 31st May 2024.

 


Apply for a Business Recovery Grant

Applications for the Business Recovery Grant have now closed.

Businesses will be eligible for a £2,500 Business Recovery Grant if their premises were deemed to have met the eligibility criteria and were either directly or indirectly impacted by Storm Henk between 2 to 12 January. Please see the business recovery grant guidance page for further information.
 

Qualifying criteria

The Department of Business and Trade has established a scheme to support eligible SME businesses whose premises have been severely impacted by Storm Henk, with immediate recovery costs.

Small-to-medium-sized businesses in West Berkshire with affected business premises could be eligible for grants of £2,500 from the Business Recovery Grant scheme.

Eligible business premises (namely premises from which a small- or medium-sized business ('SME') need to be actively trading and do not include warehouses or sheds unless the business actively trades from the warehouse or shed) within flooded areas:

  • are premises which are directly impacted by the weather event - for instance there was flood damage to the premises; or
  • are premises which are indirectly impacted by the weather event for more than one day - for instance the business premises has had no/highly restricted access to the premises, to equipment and/or stock as a result of flooding, restricted access for customers, suppliers and/or staff; and directly suffered a loss of trade as a result.

The qualifying period is 2 to 12 January 2024 for those SME businesses premises severely negatively impacted by Storm Henk.

If you have any queries regarding the Business Recovery Grant, please contact floodgrants@westberks.gov.uk.

 


Farming Recovery Fund

DEFRA are administering a further grant - the Farming Recovery Fund. More information about this grant scheme will be released shortly. If you have any queries regarding this grant, please contact floodgrants@westberks.gov.uk.

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