The new defences are also a barrier to poverty. One in six UK homes are at serious risk of flooding – that’s 5.2 million households. People on low incomes are particularly exposed, finding it harder than others to recover after a flooding event and living longer in temporary accommodation. Boston is vulnerable to tidal surges in the North Sea and, in December 2013, more than 800 properties in the town were flooded as the east coast experienced the most serious surge for 60 years.
Boston also has some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in UK. Many people living there cannot get house insurance even if they could afford it, a flood event can tip them into poverty, making life even more precarious for anyone barely surviving economically. The Boston Barrier will protect more than 14,000 properties, keeping households safe from future tidal flooding whatever their socio-economic conditions.