Below is a News Release sent out from the Province of Alberta on July 28, 2013, which contains important information regarding flood assistance and mitigation measures.
News Release - July 28, 2013
Redford government introduces measures to build safer and stronger communities
Calgary, AB - Today, Albertans have more details on flood assistance and mitigation measures to make informed choices to help get their lives back on track. This three-part announcement will lead to rebuilding safer and stronger communities, it includes more information on Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) flood compensation, new minimum flood mitigation standards, and protections for Albertans who purchase homes in floodways or flood fringes.
"Our government wants to help rebuild safer homes and stronger communities," said Doug Griffiths, Minister of Municipal Affairs. "We have worked hard to find practical ways homeowners and small businesses can better protect their property from flood damage in the future. We want to ensure Albertans can make informed choices based on their personal situation. We listened to Albertans during our recent community information sessions and consulted with industry leaders. We will be there every step of the way to help those impacted by the floods to get back on their feet."
Assistance for rebuilding
No eligible homeowner with flood damage will go without financial support. If the cost of repairs is greater than the cost of rebuilding the home, the Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) will provide support for a complete rebuild.
The level of funding is based on the cost of construction per square foot, to a functional, basic level of finish, based on the existing developed space of the home. The funding formula is based on established information from industry experts.
One size will not fit all circumstances. There will be differences depending on the type of home and level of finish in a basement, where a homeowner lives and construction costs in flood-impacted communities. Homeowners should work within the DRP process to establish the level of flood assistance they can receive.
Examples of basic levels of finish include:
Standard efficiency furnace
Basic quality carpet
Basic quality cabinets and laminate counter tops
Standard finishing throughout including baseboards, closet doors, doors, and towel racks
"This funding formula is fair to our affected homeowners and provides them the information needed to make smart choices about their future," said Griffiths. "The Disaster Recovery Program works with your insurance coverage but does not replace insurance; it will cover restoration of your home to a functional standard but not cover premium upgrades."
The formula and municipality differentials are available for homeowners online at Alberta.ca.
Flood mitigation standards
The government is committed to reducing flood damage caused by future floods through introduction of new Minimum Individual Flood Mitigation Measures. The new measures are in place to help Albertans, including small businesses, that own property in a flood fringe area, who had damage caused by the June 2013 flooding, and are applying to the DRP. The measures below give applicants from flood fringe areas the information they need to qualify for future DRP assistance.
All of the new measures relate to finished and partially finished basements, where flood damage is most likely to occur.
The new measures include:
Refinish with materials and finishes that resist water damage and are cleanable.
Seal all the openings in the basement wall where piping, wiring and conduits come through, to prevent seepage.
Protect electrical services in the basement to quickly restore electrical function by raising wiring and outlets, and by moving and modifying the main electrical panel so that basement circuits that may be affected by flood water are isolated from the remainder of the home or business.
Protect plumbing fixtures/equipment from backflow from the public sewers.
The DRP will fund flood mitigation by adding up to 15 per cent of calculated repairs per home. If mitigation costs are higher the province will fund additional money to meet the standard. It is estimated it could cost up to $10,000 more to repair or rebuild a basement with these measures instead of traditional materials and methods.
Setting these measures for home and small business owners in flood fringe areas is the first step toward mitigating potential future damage. An advisory panel struck earlier this month is doing more work to determine an approach to community flood mitigation.
Protection for future buyers
The government is taking steps to protect future home buyers and other interested parties who are considering purchasing a home in floodway or flood fringe. A notice will be placed at Land Titles stating if property is on a floodway or a flood fringe and if the property utilized 2013 DRP funding. Only properties in floodways and flood fringes that accessed assistance will have this notice.
"We have a responsibility to put protective measures in place for future buyers, realtors, lenders and insurers," said Griffiths. "This is another step toward rebuilding safer communities."
Once property owners in the flood fringe submit proof of mitigation to Land Titles their title will be cleared of the DRP notice. This will ensure future owners can apply for disaster assistance and get the help they need in the event of a future flood.
When homeowners are making repairs it is important they obtain work permits required by their municipality. These permits will ensure the flood mitigation measures are included in a combination permit and will involve the necessary inspections by safety codes officers culminating in a final inspection report validating compliance. This will be needed to prove the mitigation standards have been met.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.