Property flood resilience grant

Property Flood Resilience Recovery Support Scheme 2020 - deadline extended to 31 December 2021

Property owners in Herefordshire affected by flooding from storms Ciara and Dennis in February 2020 could be eligible for further financial help to protect their homes and businesses, due to Government funding. The Property Flood Resilience Recovery Support Scheme 2020 provides up to £5,000 (inclusive of VAT) per eligible property to help make them more resilient to future floods.

About property flood resilience

Property Flood Resilience (PFR) refers to any measures that can be applied to a building to make you and your property less vulnerable to the physical impacts of flooding. The updated 2020 Property Flood Resilience emagazine, written by Mary Dhonau, contains real life stories of how people have adapted their homes and businesses to make them resilient to future floods.

  • PFR resistance is the use of materials and approaches to safely keep water out of a property (some examples of resistance measures include: flood doors and windows; flood barriers; airbrick covers; self-closing airbricks; flood walls; water resistant mortar and render; anti-back flow valves for drains, sinks or showers; toilet bungs)
  • PFR recoverability is the use of materials, products and construction methods that mean a building can be quickly used again brought into use after flooding. It means managing the level and consequences of damage, if water enters (some examples of recoverability measures include: raised electric sockets and utility meters; solid concrete flooring or tiling; lime plaster and paint instead of gypsum and non-porous paint; waterproof coating to walls and floor; waterproof kitchen fittings)

PFR brings together a range of measures that help people become more resilient to the impacts of flooding and reduce the length of time needed for recovery. While it is not always possible to completely keep out flood water, greater individual flood resilience should reduce the cost of managing future incidents because this approach will reduce the time that you are out of your property.

Deadlines

As a result of the delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), the deadlines for this scheme have been extended. If you haven't already, please complete an online expression of interest form. We will then consider this information and contact you if we need more details. If we are satisfied that you are eligible to apply, we will provide you with details of the full application process. If you are not eligible to apply for the grant, we will write to you and explain why not.

Application forms must be submitted to us by 31 December 2021. If your application arrives after this date it may not be considered. The approved resistance and/or recoverability measures should be purchased and installed, and all grant funds claimed (in accordance with the council's defined processes) no later than 1 April 2022.

Eligibility

  • Only the property owner can apply for the grant
  • The property must have been internally damaged by flooding in February 2020 as a result of Storm Ciara or Dennis. Flooding must have been caused by heavy rainfall, a river or watercourse overflowing or by groundwater
  • The grant is only available to:
    • Residential properties - where habitable internal areas of the property have been damaged by flooding (this includes static caravans where this is the primary residence)
    • Businesses or social enterprises and charities - where internal areas of the premises which are critical to the day to day operations (not storage sheds or warehouses) have been damaged by flooding
  • 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 benefited from a Repair and Renew Grant are not eligible except where an independent survey states that extra resilience measures should be installed, over and above what was previously installed. The survey will need to be carried out at the applicant's own risk by a suitably qualified professional and the cost (up to a value of £500 including VAT) redeemed as part of a successful grant application. Applications for these properties will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • 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
  • Please note that any approved resistance and/or recoverability measures should be purchased and installed, and all grant funds claimed (in accordance with the Council’s defined processes) no later than 1 April 2022. Failure to meet this date may mean that the grant funds are no longer available to you, and any costs incurred cannot be recovered

Properties not eligible include:

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

Step by step guide on how to apply for this grant

Complete the expression of interest form for this grant

Property flood resilience surveys

The council has taken steps to streamline the process and can organise PFR surveys to be carried out on your behalf by simply emailing us at PFR@herefordshire.gov.uk and you will be contacted directly by our appointed independent surveyor (JBA Consulting) to organise one. 

Upon completion of the PFR survey, you will receive a copy of the report which will recommend a set of PFR measures best suited to your property. You will need to obtain quotes from at least three contractors – these quotes need to include the core measures detailed in the survey. Please note that the survey cost of £400 will be deducted from the £5,000 eligible grant thereby leaving you with £4,600 to undertake specific works.

If you wish to arrange your own PFR survey, please contact us and we will advise you as to next steps.

Flood products

Defra state that flood products should meet recognised UK or equivalent standards, acknowledging that there is only one recognised standard for flood products in the UK, BS 85118:2019 which replaced PAS 1188:2014. If people wish to use products that have not been tested to these recognised standards, they should satisfy themselves that the items they are purchasing contain adequate guarantees/warranties.

The National Flood Forum website has a Property Protection Advisor tool which can calculate indicative costs for property protection for types of property.

The indicative prices were generated through a Defra funded research project (FD2682) published in 2016.

The following potential companies are based upon the Environment Agency's National Property Flood Resilience Framework 2018-2022 and the council takes no responsibility for their competency. The contract will be between you and the company:

Survey, supply and installation of property flood resilience measures

You can find a list of other companies who can supply and install PFR measures in the Blue Pages.

Insurance

Home insurance policies generally put properties back to the state they were in before flooding. Therefore, if you have previously adapted your property, you should be able to secure repairs to any sacrificial or recoverable elements from your home insurer. This grant must not be used for costs that should be covered by insurance or product guarantees (for example repair of previously installed resilience measures or the costs of drying out properties). It cannot be used to cover your insurance excess.

Defra have produced an example of how the recovery process from an insurance company perspective is managed.

See more property resilience advice on the Flood Guidance website.

Flood Re is a joint initiative between the Government and insurers. Its aim is to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable. You can read about How Flood Re works. It is important that people at high flood-risk in Herefordshire shop around for the best insurance policy. For more information visit the Flood Re website.

Flooding resources

The Flood Guidance website incorporates guidance and advice from sources including insurers, government and other industry sectors.

The Flood Hub has been designed to be a one stop shop for flood information and resources to support householders, businesses and communities across the North West in becoming more flood resilient.

The Six Steps to Flood Resilience published by Manchester Metropolitan University's 'Smartest Project', provides a step-by-step guide to the purchase, installation and use of property-level technologies.