• As many bureaucrats sit in their cosy offices two thirds of people affected by DANA are still to receive aid four months after the September storms.

Two thirds of those in the Vega Baja who were affected by the Gota Fria last September are still waiting for the direct aid they requested from the Generalitat Valenciana, four months after the devastation took place.

From a total of 8,451 requests submitted to the Consell for the purchase of basic necessities and appliances, an amount of 1,500 euros, but which could increase to 4,500 following a visit by a damage assessor, only slightly more than a third of the applicants have been paid, a total of 3,115 people, many of whom lost their entire homes and belongings.

The bureaucratic procedures are painstakingly slow, a situation that is recognised by the Valencian government, but despite which nothing has been done.

The Consell says that upon receiving the assistance, those affected can purchase replacement goods, new appliances and mattresses to replace those lost due in the storm, although quite how people manage in the meantime, while the bureaucratic wheels slowly grind around, is not something that they wish to comment on.

The 8,451 files that are being processed will involve a total grant of 13.5 million euros from the Generalitat. The management of these grants is centralised in the Prop Office of the Generalitat Valenciana in Orihuela, although there are small offices with staff in all affected municipalities.

They say that it is a priority for the Generalitat to deal with all people affected by the storm, although having just taken a 2 week break while many of those affected struggle along might not be seen as such.

However funding to municipalities and local government seems to be moving rather quicker than grants to individuals with 7.3 million euros already paid to 22 municipalities that have been affected by DANA, from an allocation of 10 million.

These monies are intended to compensate for the extraordinary and urgent expenses that the municipalities had to make in the immediate face of the floods.

Additional claims being processed includes the amount of 1.5 million euros for the replacement of damaged vehicles, which are authorised after a car had been declared a ‘write off’.

The Generalitat says that it is also processing housing assistance for those affected by DANA. In this case, three types of claim are allowable: for total destruction of the home, for partial damage and for damage to the structure of the home. The budget in this case is 30 million euros.

The Generalitat is processing about a thousand applications for aid for such affected homes, and applicants will receive between 4,062 and 15,120 euros, depending on the extent of the damage.

There are also grants available for rental assistance to people whose homes suffered serious damage. The total grant is 500,000 euros, and 140 applications have been submitted to date.