Flooding Relief Minister Kevin Boxer Moran at Irishtown in Mountmellick. Pic: Denis Byrne
A total of 60 applications for humanitarian help have received cash assistance in Mountmellick in the wake of the floods that hit the Laois town this week.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection's Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is available to people whose homes have been damaged by the flooding events in the Midlands.
Community Welfare Service staff were available in the Community Centre, Wolfetown Court in Mountmellick all day Friday the day after the flooding.
Staff are also on duty at the Community Centre from until 2 pm Saturday 25th November. The centre may open into the evening depending on the requests for assistance.
The Department said staff are continuing to engage with Laois County Council and the situation will be monitored closely over the weekend.
The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is open to all including self-employed people. In dealing with emergency events of this nature, the Department adopts a three-stage approach as follows:
· Stage 1 is to provide emergency income support payments (food, clothing and personal items) in the immediate aftermath of the event. These payments are made immediately to the families and individuals affected. Over the first two response days, 39 such payments were made on day one and 21 payments on day two.
· Stage 2 generally involves the replacement of white goods, basic furniture items and other essential household items. It is not until the flood water abates and houses dry out that the full extent of the damage to homes will become known and we can begin to make these payments to the people affected. To date, no such payments have been processed and paid.
· Stage 3 is to identify what long-term financial support or works are required. It could take some time before this stage of response commences and this involves a cross-Departmental/Agency response. Works carried out can include plastering, dry-lining, relaying of floors, electrical re-wiring and painting. To date, no such payments have been processed and paid.
The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is available to assist people whose homes are damaged by flooding and who are not in a position to meet costs for essential needs, household items and in some instances structural repair. The scheme is means tested and assistance is not provided for losses which are covered by insurance or for commercial and business losses. This Scheme is available to homeowners who have suffered damage in the flooding events in Laois and Offaly.
Financial support under the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme will be initially targeted at the immediate needs of those who may have been directly impacted by the flooding (such as clothing, food) with further support available (financial support for household items and structural repair) as the clean-up operations begin.