Parnell Road resident David Cahill surveys the damage on 25 October 2011. Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Govt announces €10m flood damage assistance fund

Minister Joan Burton says people who suffered serious damage in the 24 October flooding will be means tested for emergency payments from the new fund.

THE GOVERNMENT has announced a €10 million aid package for people whose property sustained serious damage during the severe flooding late last month.

Insurers had estimated that the cost of claims arising from the 24 October flash flooding would reach up to €100 million.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton and Minster for the Environment Phil Hogan said that the government had agreed to set up a humanitarian assistance fund to provide means-tested support to residents for flood damage and that the money was to alleviate hardship, rather than act as compensation.

Bruton said that staff from her department have been carrying out house calls to meet people who were identified as vulnerable in the wake of the floods and emergency clinics have been set up to help those worst affected.

“Payments are currently being made to families who need urgent financial assistance with basics such as food, clothing and bedding. This funding will continue to be disbursed to individuals and families as require,” the minister said in a statement.

She added that the assistance fund will be available over the coming months to facilitate people for whom the flood damage has not yet become fully apparent.

The fund will mainly cover damage to home contents such as carpets, flooring, furniture and appliance, but structural problems may also be considered for payments.

A working group to oversee the state’s response to that damage will be set up and chaired by the Dept of the Environment. It will also include representatives from the OPW, Dept of Public Expenditure, Dept of Social Protection, Office of Emergency Planning and the City and County Managers Association.

Hogan said the group would “work in a speedy and focused way” to make sure that those who need assistance in the wake of the floods will get it.

The assistance fund will be administered by the Dept of Social Protection.

Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin welcomed the government fund announcement, saying it will “be of most comfort for those families left without house insurance since the last major flooding problems of July 2009″. He said he would continue to push for a comprehensive flood defence plan “which is ultimately the end goal”.

Read: Dublin local politicians clash with city council over reaction to flooding >

Read: “No one’s coming to the rescue”: Dublin City Council meets over flooding >

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