Thursday 14 December 2017

Just 10pc of emergency flood fund paid out to households

Conor Kane

LESS than 10pc of the Government's €10m relief fund has so far been paid out to families hit by last year's flooding crisis.

New figures show that 1,174 householders affected by flooding late last year have received emergency funding totalling €901,592 from the Government to date.

However, over €9m remains to be paid out from the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme set up by the Department of Social and Family Affairs last December in the wake of the flooding that hit large swathes of the country.

The department expects large claims to pour in over the coming weeks as householders complete assessments of the full scale of the damage caused by the flooding.


According to the department, initial emergency payments were made to families who needed urgent financial assistance with basics such as food, clothing, bedding, heating and the hire of dehumidifiers, along with temporary accommodation, where that was needed.

"Such emergency payments under the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme are generally made without regard to the household income as the primary objective of these payments is to address the person's immediate need," said a spokesperson.

The €10m scheme was set up on December 1 to provide financial help to eligible householders who suffered major flood damage to their homes, particularly for urgent needs.

More applications for help came from Galway than any other county, followed by Cork, Clare, Westmeath, Tipperary, Roscommon, and other counties.


Meanwhile, the Irish Red Cross has separately assessed over half of 450 applications received under its €1.1m Flood Relief Fund.

All of that money, collected through fundraising, is expected to be paid out by the Red Cross by early March.

Separately, the Department of the Environment paid out €16.5m in supplementary funding to local authorities at the end of last year, to cover exceptional costs associated with the flooding.

The funding was designed to help councils meet the costs incurred in employing emergency staff and providing emergency materials and equipment, as well as costs associated with water services and damage to social housing.

Irish Independent

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