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Alberta to support relocation from floodways

The Redford government is giving homeowners who live in Southern Alberta communities impacted by recent floods the option to relocate their families.

Homeowners who live in these communities are eligible for compensation valued at 100 per cent of their last municipal property tax assessed value to help them relocate. Those eligible will have until November 30 to apply. Applicants currently challenging their 2013 tax assessment will have 30 days after their assessment is finalized to decide.

“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, primarily in six communities, that may qualify for relocation compensation. Should homeowners wish to stay in their homes, they will still qualify for support from the Disaster Recovery Program to repair or rebuild. This will be a one-time payment, and homeowners who choose not to relocate will be ineligible for funding in the event of a future flood. Only primary residences are eligible under this policy.

“Relocating homes out of floodways is a better long-term solution for all of us,” said Minister Griffiths. “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.”

The Government of Alberta will be responsible for all remediation and demolition of properties purchased through this policy. No further building on these sites will be approved.

Additional information for eligible homeowners is available online at

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.

Backgrounder: Additional details about floodway relocation compensation


Additional details about floodway relocation compensation

Properties eligible under the new policy

Floodway relocation compensation is valued at 100 per cent of a home’s last municipal property tax assessed value. Only primary residences are eligible under this policy.

The following table lists the number of homes that may be eligible under the new policy. The data is current to August 22.


Estimated lots fully or partly in the floodway*

High River




Medicine Hat


Bragg Creek


Black Diamond and Turner Valley




* Estimates only. Qualification is based on where buildings are on a property and will be assessed once applications are received.

How to apply for floodway relocation compensation

  1. Fill out the Disaster Recovery Program application form.
    • The form is available online at or you can have it mailed to you by calling 1-888-671-1111. Some municipal offices also have the forms available.
    • In High River, a Disaster Recovery Program office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at: Charles Clark Medicial Centre, 303 – Ninth Avenue S.W.
    • In Calgary, a Disaster Recovery Program office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at: Willowglen Business Park, 803 Manning Road N.E.
  1. Along with the form, submit required documents including government I.D. with photo, and a property tax assessment.
  2. Documents can be mailed to:

Disaster Recovery Program
14515 – 122 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5L 2W4
Or faxed to 1-780-427-1262    

  1. If you have already applied to the Disaster Recovery Program, call 1-888-671-1111 to have your application updated to specify that you live in a floodway and want relocation compensation.
  2. After you apply, you will be contacted to meet with a Disaster Recovery Program evaluator to determine next steps.

For more information, visit

Frequently asked questions

  1. How soon will I get relocation compensation once I apply?

This will depend on a number of factors, including how quickly you want to relocate or are able to find a place to move to. Our goal is to make this process as quick and simple for you as possible.

  1. I don’t want to relocate out of a floodway. Will I still be covered?

Yes, and you have a choice. If you decide you do not want to relocate from a floodway, you will be covered by the Disaster Recovery Program to repair or rebuild your home to a functional, basic level of finish. However, the funding you receive will be based on the same formula as what is being offered to property owners outside the floodway, and not based on their property tax assessment. This will be a one-time payment, and homeowners who choose not to relocate will be ineligible for funding in the event of a future flood.

  1. Why is relocation compensation based on tax assessments and not fair market value from before the flood?

Tax assessments incorporate market value as part of its assessment. It is a fair and equal way to establish value for all homeowners. The values are already established by municipalities and will enable homeowners and government to work through the relocation process as quickly as possible. Timely resolution will allow all concerned to begin the longer-term recovery process.

  1. If I accept relocation compensation, what will happen to my home?

If you accept relocation compensation, government will own the property and will examine the next steps that need to be taken, including potential demolition of the home, remediation of the land or sale of the building for relocation to another property.

  1. How will relocation compensation apply to homes on First Nations Reserves?

Work is still being done to assess options for relocation within First Nations. Government has committed to helping First Nations communities and to providing the same assistance as is available to other Albertans. However, a voluntary provincial buy-out of land is not possible for First Nations communities as the province can’t own land on reserves. The government is working with the federal government and First Nations communities to develop options for these communities.

  1. How will this policy apply to communities, like Drumheller or Fort McMurray, with substantial development in the floodway?

This relocation policy does not apply to Drumheller or Fort McMurray. We understand that these communities have unique circumstances and government is committed to working with them to develop local solutions.

  1. What consideration is being provided to communities without flood hazard maps?

Government will work with communities who do not have flood hazard maps as they create their recovery plans and as they look at how to mitigate for the future. Relocation options will be assessed on a community basis where no maps exist yet.

  1. How much is relocation compensation going to cost taxpayers?

Development in floodways is dangerous and represents an ongoing risk to all taxpayers. We won’t know how much the total cost to taxpayers will be until we know how many floodway homeowners choose to relocate. Under this policy, approximately 250 homes are eligible for relocation compensation. If all eligible homeowners choose to relocate, it is estimated to cost as much as $175 million. 


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