The territorial government will be coordinating and covering the cost of all repairs to private homes caused by flood damage this past spring.
In a press conference Monday afternoon, Laura Gareau, the deputy minister for the department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA), explained the plan.
All household repairs not covered by insurance will be financed by the GNWT, while all homes damaged beyond repair will be replaced with basic manufactured homes suited to the household size. The funding will go towards repairing private homes to pre-disaster conditions.
However, victims will only be eligible to claim up to 80 per cent or $100,000 worth of their personal items.
The news comes after flood victims expressed frustration and confusion with the territory’s flood response.
Gareau says the territorial government will “be using qualified local, regional or territorial contractors” to complete the work.
She adds, the goal is to have all the repairs complete by the winter.
“We know this has been a very difficult time for people and that many people just want their repairs done and to be back in their homes and to start on their recovery process,” Gareau said.
But she said MACA will cover the accommodation costs of anyone unable to return to their homes by the winter.
In the press conference, Gareau said around 70 private homes in Fort Simpson are in need of repairs — 10 of which need to be completely replaced — however this number still needs to be verified.
Jean Marie River First Nation (JMRFN) has 16 to 18 homes in need of repairs, Fort Good Hope has 10 private homes in need of repairs, and Wood Buffalo First Nation has four private homes in need of repairs.
Gareau said there are plans to establish a camp in JMRFN for displaced residents, something victims have been asking for weeks.
She expects there to be a camp set up in the community by the end of July with temporary shelters for up to 40 people.
Assessors will be in Fort Simpson and JMRFN to complete environmental assessments on damage caused by spilled fuel tanks.
“What we’ve asked them to do is give us information on the nature and extent of the fuel spills in those communities. And to give us an estimate of costs required to remediate that,” Gareau said.
There are currently assessors in Fort Simpson and JMRFN completing mould remediation work and other urgent issues including removal of wet drywall and insulation.
Gareau said the department will be assessing all claims and she encourages everyone affected to submit them.