Cottage owners not eligible for flood-relief funding in Ontario

flooded home in Rockland and Cumberland

The floodwaters that have been wreaking havoc in Ontario and Quebec this month are finally beginning to recede, but the damage they have caused will take longer to subside. And unfortunately for those whose cottages were damaged, provincial flood relief money will only be going towards primary residences.

Some cottage owners have been disgruntled to discover that disaster-relief funds will not be available to repair damage to cottages caused by the flood. Unless residents live in them full-time, cottages are considered secondary residences, which means they are not slated to receive funding from the province, which will only be providing repair money to primary residences.

It’s a disappointment for cottage owners like Gilles Leroux, whose cottage on the Ottawa River was hit by an influx of flood water. The river water got inside of his cottage and mostly submerged his garage. He estimates the damages will cost around $25,000 to repair, and he will have to foot the bill himself. “I knew we wouldn’t be getting the same relief as primary residents, and that’s understandable,” Leroux told the CBC. “But at least get a certain amount to help us rebuild.”

Those who are eligible for relief funding can apply for up to $250,000 to finance emergency living expenses and help return their homes to their basic function.

Many homeowners who were affected by the deluge of water did not have flood insurance, and as for those who do, the flood will likely cause everyone’s insurance premiums in the region to increase. Some say that there’s a high likelihood of extreme-weather becoming a more frequent occurrence. Brian Erwin, an insurance broker in Ottawa told the CBC that with climate change, “they’re thinking things are going to reoccur every five years now.”