Flooded Residents In NMD Get £119,000 Assistance

SEFA Payments Total £119,000 to Residents Affected by Flooding

SEFA Payments Total £119,000 to Residents Affected by Flooding

Since the flooding emergency, which hit parts of our district from Monday 30 October, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has paid £119,000 through the Scheme of Financial Assistance (SEFA).

The emergency funds are made available through the Department for Communities (DfC) and administered by Councils in response to the needs of householders across Northern Ireland in the event of any flooding.

Individual householders in Newry Mourne and Down who suffered severe inconvenience as a result of internal flooding to their properties, were able to claim a one off payment of £1,000 through the Scheme as an offer of practical assistance.

Across Newry Mourne and Down, 119 residential properties qualified for the SEFA grant after being flooded. They were paid out within a week. (Pictured is the centre of Downpatrick badly affected by flooding.)

The day after the flooding began, on Tuesday 31 October, the Council notified residents of the financial assistance scheme, which DfC activated. 

Since then, the Council has been working at pace to identify eligible households and distribute cheques promptly to ensure that homes have been made habitable as quickly as possible. 

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Valerie Harte, said: “SEFA closed on Thursday 16 November and I would like to pay tribute to Council officers for ensuring that all 119 eligible households each received £1,000 payment within seven days of the scheme ending, helping them to make their homes fit to live in as quickly as possible.

“I know residents have lost a great deal and there is still much to be done. However, I hope that this quick payment has helped in some way to begin to rebuild what was lost.

“I would like to thank the Department for Communities for its funding of SEFA and the Council teams and agencies who worked tirelessly on the ground from the outset of this emergency to respond to the needs of households and businesses.”

Speaking in a response to a question at the December full council meetong on Monday night by Cllr Declan McAteer, Council Chief Executive Marie Ward said: “Council is still working hard of the recovery process.

“The second phase for support is due to be announced soon. It has too to be approved by the government departments and the UK Treasury.

“Council officers have been diverted from all sectors. Our priority is to assist businesses. Recovery is underway but is not likely to see a phase two until after Christmas.

“We will be subject to external audit and the Council audit committee and therefore have to meet the requirements of the scheme and follow what the scheme sets out.”