City launches ‘Recovery to RESILIENCE’ campaign with new buyout option
Posted On: October 30, 2019
The City of Grand Forks has launched a campaign to ensure that affected property owners, other community stakeholders, and restoration partners are well informed about and engaged in community efforts to move Grand Forks from Recovery to RESILIENCE. The campaign is designed to:
  • Help affected property owners find and relocate to replacement homes in 2019-2020;
  • Optimize communication and collaboration among key stakeholders during floodplain restoration and infrastructure replacement from 2020-2023; and
  • Foster the community healing needed for unity and prosperity into the future.
“We’re excited about this project,” says Mayor Brian Taylor on behalf of council and staff. “We believe it sets the stage for a strong, united effort to move Grand Forks from flood recovery through to community healing and pride.”

CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF OFFERS NEW BUYOUT OPTION

The campaign kick-off was a mailout to property owners within the land-acquisition areas, outlining the City’s proposal for providing them with land and title for parcels located in residential areas throughout the city.

“We heard property owners loud and clear when they said buyout payments from senior governments based on post-flood values would leave them far short of what they needed to secure affordable housing,” say Mayor Taylor. “This option will help them get payments at or closer to pre-flood values, meaning they can invest more in their new homes.”

Staff is considering a mix of single-family, multi-family, and townhouse property types and locations, focusing on those with lower-cost servicing, higher return on investment, and proximity to downtown and key amenities.

“The approach is within the City’s scope and authority,” says Graham Watt, Manager of Strategic Initiatives & Flood Recovery. “We are also enabling other in-kind options such as coordinating and supplementing moving costs for homes, and seeking partners and funding for new housing developments targeted for affected property owners.”

Within the next few weeks, the City will select a consultant to build a land acquisition team and to develop buyout policies, processes, protocols, and payout agreements. Payments could begin in December.

RESILIENCE CENTRE OPENS SOON

Questions regarding the buyout and other recovery efforts can be answered at the City’s Resilience Centre at 7261 Riverside Drive during the first week of November. Meetings are available by appointment until regular drop-in hours are set.

Additional information about the Recovery to RESILIENCE campaign and all recovery efforts will soon be available on the City website at https://www.grandforks.ca/RESILIENCE.

To receive regular email updates, residents can sign-up at https://www.grandforks.ca/RESILIENCE.

For more information about the campaign or recovery efforts, contact Graham Watt at:
gwatt@grandforks.ca or 250-442-4159.