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Houston government would consider buying flood-damaged homes if HRM makes proposal


Nova Scotia’s housing minister said in order for the province to consider buying homes on a floodplain in Bedford, the Halifax Regional Municipality would have to make a request.

“We’re not saying yes or no,” said John Lohr, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Housing and minister responsible for the office of emergency management.

“Obviously the municipality has the zoning, the bylaws for that and owns the infrastructure there that’s part of that and does the floodplain mapping and all of those things.”

Lohr noted the Cape Breton Regional Municipality lead the way when the province bought flood damaged homes in Sydney in 2016.

Lohr said in general, the province is committed to keeping residents in their homes.

“We’re in a housing crisis. We need every house,” he said.

Bedford-area councillor Tim Outhit plans to bring up the idea at HRM council next week, as well as ask the city to fast-track the Sackville floodplain implementation plan and to develop a plan for at-risk areas.

While there are about 38 homes in the hard-hit area on Union Street in Bedford, Outhit believes only between ten and twenty homes are not safe or salvageable.

“There is not a quick, easy, affordable solution. You know build a wall, dig a trench, put in some more drains this sort of thing. Those situations will not work in this case,” said Outhit.

When the homes were built on Union Street in the 1970s, Outhit said the area was a known flood plan. Should the properties be bought, the councillor noted the city could pay to turn the area into parkland.

Homeowners told CTV News Wednesday if they’re going to be offered a buyout, they’d want it to come quickly and not after they rebuild.

Outhit said he’s advising residents to do whatever they think is right for them because there’s no guarantee.

“Because as much as the MLA and council and I may be supporting this, this is something that could take a year or two to resolve,” said Outhit.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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