Council votes to maintain funding for the anti-hail roof rebate program

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Some advisers have argued that many northeastern residents still struggle to repair their homes and feel abandoned by insurance companies and the provincial government

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Funding for a rebate program to help Calgary homeowners replace their roofs with hail-resistant materials narrowly survived a city council vote on Tuesday.

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During Tuesday’s municipal budget debate, Ward 10 council. André Chabot advised his colleagues to withdraw about $ 3.25 million from the 2022 budget that had been set aside for the first two groups of candidates for the city’s resilient roofs rebate program.

“I don’t believe it’s a municipal responsibility to provide funding specifically to help individuals provide more resilient roofing in the first place,” Chabot argued on Tuesday.

The program, which was first created to help hundreds of residents of northeast Calgary who saw their homes severely damaged in a devastating hailstorm in June 2020, offers homeowners up to $ 3,000 to help them replace their roofs with materials more resistant to hail. City staff have extended the program to all Calgary homeowners who meet the eligibility criteria in 2022.

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Some advisers argued Tuesday that many residents of northeast Calgary are still struggling to fix their homes and feel abandoned by insurance companies and the provincial government.

“They are still struggling. It’s been almost a year and a half. They’re still struggling to get their houses in order or their roofs or their siding and stuff. And the effects of that hailstorm are still here, ”Ward 5 Council said. Raj Dhaliwal. “People still need help.”

According to city data, 423 applicants have now received a discount and another 40 have been pre-approved, but additional funding is needed to meet the remaining applicants in the first group and to process the next round of applicants.

Com. Gian-Carlo Carra noted the public support that has been extended to some of Calgary’s wealthier neighborhoods after the 2013 floods: “It was a disaster of equal magnitude and the silence from other levels of government was deafening. “, did he declare.

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Council voted 9-6 to reject Chabot’s motion to cancel funding for the program in 2022. Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Councilors Dhaliwal, Carra, Kourtney Penner, Jasmine Mian, Terry Wong, Evan Spencer, Richard Pootmans and Courtney Walcott voted to continue funding the reimbursement program.

“This is a time when we need to step up our efforts to support a community that has been underserved due to the heavier impact of climate change seen in the northeast and which is not also being seen in our city.” , said Walcott.

The 2022 budget is not yet finalized. Council deliberations will continue on Wednesday.

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Twitter: @mpotkins

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