City of Calgary looking into incentives for storm mitigation for homes

CALGARY — The City of Calgary is exploring an incentive program for how neighbourhoods are rebuilt using hail-resistant materials to protect against severe weather events in the future.

City administration presented a report to the city priorities and finances committee (PFC) meeting on Tuesday with a number of recommendations, including implementing a resilient roofing rebate program.

“We need to look at how we build our communities, how we build our homes so they are more resilient and able to deal with these extreme weather patterns that are becoming more and more normal,” said Ward 5 councillor George Chahal.

The incentive would provide home owners with a $2,000 rebate towards the cost of upgrading the roof of their homes with hail-resistant materials. Chahal said the average cost of using stronger materials is approximately $6,000.

“Our hope is that the provincial government also comes in and supports this initiative,” said Chahal.

The recommendations follow a severe hail storm in northeast Calgary last June that caused approximately $1.5 billion in insured damages. Chahal brought forward a motion shortly after the storm calling on the city to see how it could mitigate the impact of future weather events.

Chahal said even though sidings of thousands of homes were severely damaged, $800 million was attributed to roof damage.

“Our experts have shown that the biggest impact we can get to prevent future damage and large insurance claims, that impacts all Calgarians on costs moving forward, is to look at having more resilient roofs on those homes,” said Chahal.

Chahal said the committee has approved the severe hail weather strategies in principal but further details need to be worked out including how homeowners can apply. They will be discussed at a PFC meeting next month.

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