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Homeowner flood protection grant

With Storm Imogen currently battering parts of the UK and Storms Jake and Katie presumably not far behind, it’s important for advisers to familiarise themselves with the newest government grant aimed at helping homeowners who have been adversely affected by flooding.

Homeowners may be eligible for a grant if they own a property that has been flooded or is in a known flood risk area.  This grant will allow homeowners to install physical barriers and equipment to help reduce the impact of flooding on their homes.   The grant is called the Homeowner Flood Protection Grant Scheme and is managed by the Rivers Agency.

Who can apply?

You can apply for this grant if you own a residential property that has been flooded or is located in a known flood risk area.  The grant will help you to carry out certain work to your home which will reduce the risk of it flooding.

The grant will cover 90% of the cost of certain work, up to a maximum of £10,000.  Homeowners will have to cover the remaining 10% of the cost and any costs above £10,000 themselves. 

The type of work that can be carried out using the grant includes adding door barriers, waterproofing walls, installing airbrick covers and non return drainage outlets. 

What properties are exempt?

Not all properties are eligible for the grant.  The grant will not be paid in respect of

  • new homes which were granted planning approval after 1 January 2009
  • properties owned by the Housing Executive, a registered housing association or any other third party
  • properties which are likely to benefit from a government backed flood alleviation solution in the next five years

Properties bought under co-ownership are eligible for the grant. The grant is targeted at resident homeowners and tenants cannot apply.  Smaller private landlords may be eligible for the grant, but the Rivers Agency will deal with applications from landlords on a case by case basis. 

Applying for the Homeowner Flood Protection Grant Scheme

Homeowners who wish to apply for the grant should contact the Rivers Agency. The Rivers Agency will appoint a building surveyer who will carry out a water entry survey for the property.  The surveyor will then recommend certain protection measures which will help to protect the applicant’s home.

Application fee

Applicants will have to pay the Rivers Agency £50 before a surveyor will be appointed.  This fee will be refunded if the surveyor is unable to recommend protection measures for the property because of its design or location.  If the surveyor presents recommendations the £50 fee will be deducted from the applicant’s 10% share of the costs.  The fee will most likely not be refunded if an applicant simply decides not to proceed with the work, unless the applicant can show good cause to explain why they cannot proceed. 

The contribution share is not means tested; all successful applicants will have to contribute 10% of the cost of the works.

Getting the work carried out

The Rivers Agency will appoint a suitably qualified contractor to carry out the work and the grant payments will be made to this contractor.  The work will not start until the contractor receives the applicant’s 10% contribution . After the work has been completed the property will be tested to make sure it is now resistant to flood water. 

Homeowners cannot remove any of the items installed under the grant if they later decide to sell the property. 

Finding out more about the flood grant

More information about this grant is available from the River's Agency pages on the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development's website.  Applicants can also find the application pack and a guide for applicants on the DARD site. 

Tagged In

Fitness, Affordability, Landlord

This article was written on 8 February 2016. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.