The Redford government is giving homeowners living in floodways in Southern Alberta the option to relocate their families.
Affected homeowners are eligible for compensation valued at 100 per cent of their last municipal property tax assessment to help them relocate.
“We simply cannot encourage development in floodways. It is just too dangerous and represents an ongoing risk to all taxpayers,” said Doug Griffiths, minister of Municipal Affairs. “We want to give homeowners the choice to relocate to safer areas.”
There are approximately 250 homes in Southern Alberta that will qualify including 50 in Calgary, 102 High River, 57 in Medicine Hat, 36 in Bragg Creek and nine in Black Diamond and Turner Valley.
Should eligible homeowners choose to remain in their homes, they will still qualify for support from the Disaster Recovery Program to repair or rebuild homes to a “functional, basic level of finish”. The funding received in this case is based on the same formula being offered to property owners outside the floodway and will not be based on a property tax assessment but a one-time payment with homeowners ineligible for funding in the event of a future flood.
“Relocating homes out of floodways is a better long-term solution for all of us,” Griffiths said. “We understand that the decision to relocate your family away from a community where you have put down roots is a difficult one — and we will be here to support you and provide you with the information to make the best decision for your family.”
For those who make the decision to take compensation and relocate, their affected homes will become government property and in turn be examined for the next steps that need to be taken including potential demolition, remediation of the land or sale of the building for relocation to another property. No further building on the affected floodway property will be approved.
Interested homeowners can visit www.alberta.ca for the form or have it mailed by calling 1-888-671-1111. Along with the form, eligible homeowners need to submit required documents including government ID with photo and a property tax assessment. Eligible homes have until Nov. 30 to apply.