Flood Help, rebuilding choices
COMPLETE UPDATE REGARDING THE GOVERNMENT ACT TO SUPPORT HOMEOWNERS REBUILDING CHOICES.
July 14, 2013
Government acts to support homeowners' rebuilding choices
As homeowners impacted by flooding start to rebuild, new government policies will support the decisions Albertans make in rebuilding their homes, including the decision to relocate out of floodways.
“We want to give Albertans with flood-damaged homes the information they need to make choices to get their lives back on track. We also want to ensure we’re spending responsibly and doing everything we can to prevent flood damage like this from happening again,” said Doug Griffiths, Chair of the Ministerial Flood Recovery Task Force.
The government is announcing the following policy decisions and will begin implementing them:
Buildings in Flood Risk Areas: For homes located within a floodway, there will be funding available through the Disaster Recovery Program for homeowners to rebuild or relocate to a new location outside flood risk areas. There will also be funding available through the same program for specific mitigation infrastructure that will protect buildings within a flood fringe area (such as berms, water control infrastructure, raising a house, etc.) Any land made available by Albertans moving out of flood risk areas will be made available for municipal flood mitigation infrastructure or for recreational use such as picnic areas, parks, cycling and hiking paths.
Extra money for flood mitigation: For heavily damaged homes requiring major repairs or complete reconstruction, homeowners in flood fringe areas will be eligible for additional funding through the Disaster Recovery Program, on top of the disaster recovery assistance for eligible expenses. This additional money must be spent on approved flood mitigation measures. Mitigation measures will be approved if they are sufficient to protect against a one-in-100 flood event (a one per cent chance of a flood happening in any given year).
Future coverage: Homeowners in a flood fringe who do not implement mitigation measures to protect against a 1-in-100 flood event will not be eligible for Disaster Recovery Program assistance in the event of future flooding. Residents who undertake approved flood mitigation measures will be eligible to receive Disaster Recovery Program assistance for any future flood that exceeds the 1-in-100 year flood event criteria. Homes and businesses currently in flood ways, and those who utilize provincial Disaster Recovery funds will have a notation on their land title to ensure that future owners of the property are also informed.
Future development in floodways: Legislative changes will be made this fall that will require municipalities to no longer approve future development in floodways. Municipalities will be consulted in the coming weeks on these changes, and will account for unique circumstances some municipalities face.
“These are crucial decisions for the future of our province and the safety of our citizens,” Griffiths emphasized. “There will obviously be significant and extensive questions concerning the implementation of these policy directions. Our government has made good progress in flood-mapping municipalities most prone to flooding, and that work continues.”
These new policy directions align with federal flood assistance programs and bring Alberta in line with provinces such as Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec which have various policies and limits on development in flood hazard areas. The changes will help the long-term viability and sustainability of communities as well as protect Albertans from the cost of future flood damages.
“No eligible homeowner with flood damage will go without financial support; but when we’re using Albertans’ tax dollars, we need to empower those receiving funds to make responsible choices. That’s what Albertans expect,” said Griffiths.
For more information, and to see available flood mapping, Albertans are encouraged to visit Alberta.ca or call 310-4455 toll free.
Our government was elected to keep building Alberta, to live within its means and to fight to open new markets for Alberta’s resources. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for