Some Gatineau homeowners in flood zone will not be allowed to rebuild

The City of Gatineau has taken steps to help streamline the rebuilding process for homeowners affected by spring flooding.

About 1,800 homes in Gatineau are located in flood zones

Floodwaters surround homes on Hurtubise Boulevard in Gatineau on May 4, 2017. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

Gatineau homeowners whose residences need to be demolished and are located in a certain flood zone will not be able to rebuild under provincial law.

In a meeting on Tuesday, the City of Gatineau announced measures to make it easier for flood victims who need to demolish or renovate their homes.

The city will waive certain administrative fees and speed up the application process for acquiring building and renovation permits.

"We will have a dedicated team just to process these permits to help them go through the system, because we know our bylaws can be complex." Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said Tuesday. 

But Gatineau residents whose homes need to be demolished and are located in a 0 to 20 year flood zone will not be able to rebuild, in accordance with provincial legislation.

Inspectors with Quebec's public safety department are still in the process of determining which homes will be condemned due to flood damage.

Of the more than 1,800 homes that were flooded, about 75 per cent are located in the most high-risk, low-lying areas.

If a home is condemned, residents will be offered up to $250,000 to build elsewhere.

Homes that are still standing will have to be reinforced to withstand another flood, the city said.

Pedneaud-Jobin said there is a possibility that the city would make an exception and allow someone to stay, but added that would have to be under extraordinary circumstances.

"We don't want to go through this anymore in the future and flood victims don't want to go through this in the future," Pedneaud-Jobin said.

"So we would have to look at it very, very carefully."

With files from Judy Trinh