The new schemes were launched last week by the Prime Minister as part of a comprehensive package to help homeowners and businesses in flood affected areas get back on their feet and make their properties more resilient to flooding in the future.
Support for businesses
- businesses that have been flooded since December 2013 will qualify for 100% business rate relief for 3 months, regardless of how long they were flooded
- government will guarantee to reimburse councils’ costs of providing 100% rate relief, enabling local authorities to start providing this relief immediately
- the initial funding allocations to councils in flood affected areas from the new £10 million Business Support Scheme have also been set out today
- these funding allocations will enable councils to start identifying affected businesses straight away and provide emergency hardship funding
- Business Support Scheme funding is being provided on top of business rate relief, and allows local councils to help both flooded businesses and those who have been indirectly affected through loss of trade, for example by being cut off
Help for homeowners
- as announced by the Prime Minister yesterday, the government will provide up to £4 million to councils to help provide people whose properties are flooded with a council tax rebate of at least 3 months
- this funding guarantee to local authorities means that they can start providing this council tax relief immediately
- the new Repair and Renewal Grants will go live from 1 April and will provide financial support for households and businesses to contribute to work that improves a property’s ability to withstand future flooding
- grants of up to £5,000 will be paid to flooded homeowners and businesses, once a survey to identify appropriate resilience measures has been completed; the cost of the survey is part of the grant
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
This government is continuing to take decisive action across the board to help hard-working people affected by the floods. We have led the immediate response through COBR, and put in place a range of measures to help people in the longer-term.
Today I am publishing details of how homeowners and businesses can access a range of new funding schemes which I announced over the last week.
We are helping people who need help now and protecting communities who need protecting in the future.
Details of the £10 million fund for farmers to help restore their waterlogged land will be announced shortly.
All 4 schemes will be delivered by local authorities and extend to England only.
All the schemes will be backdated to ensure we are providing support to those affected by floods since December 2013, including communities on the east coast affected by the tidal surge in early December.
Additional details on the specific schemes:
Business Rate Relief Scheme
- 100% rate relief for 3 months will be available to businesses that have been flooded
- we expect local authorities to implement 100% rate relief immediately
- businesses with a Rateable Value of over £10 million will not be eligible for rates relief
- central government will reimburse local authorities for the costs of implementing 100% rate relief
Council tax exemption for flooded properties
- DCLG has made £4 million available for this scheme to enable local councils to provide a council tax rebate to those whose homes have been flooded
- it will be for each local council to decide what level of rebate to offer each flooded property
- central government will reimburse local authorities for the costs of implementing the council tax exemption
£5,000 Repair and Renewal grants
- these one-off, time-limited grants are for up to £5,000 (to include the costs of a professional survey) and are for flooded homes and businesses
- local authorities will need to establish local schemes for administering the grants and commissioning surveys of flooded properties to identify measures that would improve their resilience or resistance to future floods
- measures funded by these grants must not duplicate repairs that should be covered through insurance policies: the funding is solely available for additional future resilience or resistance measures
- the scheme will go live from 1 April 2014; government will convene discussions with insurers, surveyors and councils to explore how best to align the scheme with the insurance assessment and loss adjuster process
Business Support Scheme
- up to £10 million has been made available to provide emergency funding and support to businesses in flood affected areas
- this scheme covers businesses in these areas that have been flooded, and those that have been indirectly affected by flooding and suffered significant loss of trade
- local authorities will have discretion on the maximum payments to individual businesses - but our guidance highlights equivalent schemes where the average grants were £2,500 per business
- initial allocations from the first tranche of this funding are being announced today
- we recognise that we will need to work with councils to build up a more detailed picture of business need in local areas; that is why we have held back a second tranche of funding to distribute in March