‘Don’t give out details and check ID’ - Warning over flood grant cold callers

Mytholmroyd centre under water after the River Calder burst its banks.
Mytholmroyd centre under water after the River Calder burst its banks.
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Calderdale Council has warned residents to be vigilant following concerns over companies visiting properties in flood-hit areas asking people to sign a document to apply for a Repair and Renew flood resilience grant.

These companies are not working on behalf of the council and residents are advised to check ID and never to sign anything on the day if they are visited by cold callers about flood grants at their property.

Homes that were not flooded appear to be the main target of these firms, and while some properties that are classed as ‘near miss’ could be eligible for grants, the majority of homes unaffected by flooding would not be able to claim for financial assistance.

Calderdale Council’s leader Tim Swift, said: “We want to make it clear that firms of this kind are not working on behalf of the council, and we’re urging residents not to give out any details if they are contacted at their home.

“Our advice is to always check ID and never sign anything before taking time to consider your options. If in doubt, always contact the council’s Home Improvement Service, where someone will give you advice on flood assistance.”

There is still time to apply for the grant if you think you could be eligible. Here’s how it works:

Step 1 – Flood assessment. The council can arrange this on your behalf, or you can arrange your own. If the council arranges the assessment, the fee will be paid on your behalf, even if you don’t go ahead with the recommended works.

Step 2 – Get a quote for the work. Your surveyor can advise you about suitable contractors for the work recommended in the flood survey report. The National Flood Forum’s www.bluepages.org.uk directory is also useful. Neighbours or friends who’ve already had work done may also be able to recommend someone. You should also ask your contractor to provide details of a reference for one of their recent jobs in the area with their quote. Ideally this will be a local home owner who you can speak to ask about the quality of the contractor’s work and their reliability.

Step 3 – Grant approval. Once you’ve sent your completed application form and quotes in we will email or write to you to confirm as soon as your grant has been approved.

Step 4 – Order the works. Once you received your grant approval, you can then ask your preferred contractor(s) to start the works.

Step 5 – Payment. When the work has been completed, the contractor will invoice you. Send the invoice to the council, and it will pay the contractor.

You don’t need to be out of pocket, and you don’t need to pay any money up front to contractors.

Full details of how to apply for the Council Flood Grant are available at: www.calderdale.gov.uk/environment/flooding/floodhelp/residents-help-available.html

If your home was flooded in the December 2015 floods and you need any help with arranging a surveyor, or completing your application form, get in touch with the council’s Home Improvement Service on 01422 392199 or email your name, address of the flooded property and contact telephone number to business@calderdale.gov.uk