NEWS

250 Alberta flood victims to get government home buyouts

08/22/2013 01:49 EDT | Updated 10/22/2013 05:12 EDT
The Alberta government will offer to buy and tear down about 250 homes that were severely damaged by the massive flooding in June.

Homeowners in primarily six Alberta communities will be eligible for compensation worth the total value of their property according to their last tax assessment, provincial officials said Thursday.

"We simply cannot encourage development in floodways. It is just too dangerous and represents an ongoing risk to all taxpayers," said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths, who announced the policy in Bragg Creek.

"We want to give homeowners the choice to relocate to safer areas."

No rebuilding on those sites will be allowed once the houses are torn down, the province said.

The province estimates the floodway relocation compensation will be offered to 102 homeowners in High River, 50 in Calgary, 57 in Medicine Hat, 36 in Bragg Creek and nine in Black Diamond and Turner Valley.

Homeowners who chose not to relocate will still qualify for support from the Disaster Recovery Program to repair their properties. However, in the event of another flood, they will not be eligible again.

The deadline to apply for the buyout is Nov. 30. Only primary residences are eligible.

Applicants who are challenging their 2013 tax assessments will have 30 days after their assessment is finalized to make a decision.

The province will pay for all remediation and demolition of properties purchased under the program.

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