Relief for flood victims

Property owners affected by record flood levels can immediately apply for financial assistance through the Yukon Housing Corporation.

Property owners affected by record flood levels can immediately apply for financial assistance through the Yukon Housing Corporation.

Residents of the Southern Lakes, Lake Laberge and Liard River regions are eligible for grants and interest-free loans of up $35,000 to help repair homes, Premier Dennis Fentie announced Friday.

“We need to start getting relief into the hands of property owners to get their residences up to shape,” said Fentie.

The money will go towards property repairs and improvements to stem future flood damage, said Fentie.

“This could include the flooring, fixing structural damage, or improving the properties by raising the structure or adding sub-pumps,” he said.

Septic and drinking water systems also qualify for repair and improvement.

“We will also be examining options for future flooding preparations,” said Fentie.

“We saw record water levels and this was quite new to us. But a great job was done by all to mitigate the damage and now we’re looking to the future.”

People whose property is their primary residence are eligible for grants, provided by the federal government and administered by the Yukon Housing Corporation.

Funds doled out to residents will be based on upcoming property assessments, but there is no ceiling on the amount, said Rudy Couture, chairman of the housing corroboration’s board of directors.

Recreational property owners can apply for zero-interest loans of up to $35,000 from the Yukon government. Loans are payable over 12 years.

This is the first time the housing corporation’s home repair program has been offered for damage caused by a natural disaster.

Early estimates of properties damaged by the flood total 54. There were 40 in the Marsh Lake area, four around Lake Laberge, seven in the Tagish Lake area and three around Carcross.

The government will not know the full extent of the damage until after spring thaw, when more residences could be added to the list, said spokesperson Doug Caldwell. (JW)