Flood victims must get rates rebate due: MLA

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SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H. Durkan has reminded victims of the severe flooding last August that they could be eligible for a rates rebate for the period they have been evacuated from their homes.

Mr. Durkan said many property owners affected by the disaster will be entitled to rates exemptions and should apply for them.

“While most houses affected have now had the necessary major repairs carried out and people were able to return to them in time for Christmas, some people are still out of their homes almost five months after the terrifying event,” he said.

“The disruption, inconvenience and expense to victims caused by the flooding have been huge, not to mention the trauma,” he added.

The local MLA said he and colleagues had specifically pressed the Department of Finance to reactivate its rates exemption for properties and that it had responded positively.

“That means that families or businesses that had to vacate their property for any period of time longer than four weeks should be able to claim back rates paid for that period.

“This is money that victims must get if they are entitled to it and I believe that statutory agencies have a responsibility to make people aware of all support available.

“It is my belief that not everyone who may be eligible for this refund is aware of it and I would urge people who did have to move out to contact Land and Property Service to find out more.

“Alternatively,please get in contact with me or your local SDLP representative if you require help or further information,” said the SDLP MLA.