The Quebec government has revealed a new disaster relief program – one that puts limits on the amount of compensation given to homeowners in flood zones.
Under the new program, if damages exceed 50% of a home’s value or reach $100,000, homeowners in flood zones will be given compensation – just enough to cover relocation costs. While they have the option of using the money to pay for repairs to their home, the government made it clear that the payout is the only form of financial help it would give to homeowners living in high-risk areas.
The new rules also state that the “compensation threshold” for homes in flood-prone areas will be cumulative, which means the total cost of the damages will be added after each flood. That threshold also only applies to damages to the home, not the homeowner.
“We want to avoid people benefiting, year after year, from financial help without a maximum amount,” Quebec’s public security minister Geneviève Guilbault explained in a statement.
“With this new measure, when the maximum is reached, the person will be faced with a choice: take the last cheque and no longer be compensated or benefit from the other options we’re offering.”
In addition to the cap, the new disaster relief program now has a streamlined claims process, cutting down the paperwork homeowners would need to complete before they can be eligible for relief.
CBC News has translated into English (from French, on the government’s website) some of the other new features of the relief program.
- Evacuees will receive $20 a day for housing and supplies if they are forced out of their homes for more than four days; the figure could increase to as much as $1,000 a month if major repairs are required.
- In the event of a natural disaster, homeowners will get $125 per day (renters receive $75 a day) to install preventative measures, up to a maximum of $5,000 – no paperwork will be necessary to receive this benefit.
- For flood-affected homeowners with storage needs, the government is willing to provide up to $1,000.