The Charlottetown Flood Risk Reduction Rebate Program aimed to protect residents’ homes by increasing public understanding of flood risk and the steps to achieve climate resiliency. As a low-lying coastal area, many homes in Charlottetown are susceptible to flooding and erosion.
Ensuring homes have adequate prevention measures in place can come with an overwhelming cost. To help support residents, the program provided rebates of 75% of the cost up to $1,000 for eligible expenses including sump pumps, back-up batteries, backwater valves, and water monitors/alarms.
The flood rebate program officially launched on November 25, 2022 and immediately generated significant interest among residents with all funding being allocated by the end of March 2023. Upgrades were completed at 91 properties in the area.
The City of Charlottetown’s second objective was to host panel discussions and training sessions for residents to increase awareness and preparedness surrounding flooding.
Two of the presentations focused on what work is going on in PEI relating to climate change adaptation with a focus on flooding. The other two presentations provided insight on what residents could do on their property to reduce the risk of flooding while also working with nature.
Considerations for adopting a Flood Action Rebate Program
- Determine the process and requirements in advance. Having a clear and documented process in place for what is required of all involved parties will ensure the launch and program runs smoothly. Consider:
- What factors determine eligibility for rebates?
- What documentation is required before and after work is completed?
- Will there be a pre-approval process for residents?
- Consider potential questions from all stakeholders. By thinking ahead and preparing potential FAQs related to all groups of stakeholders including residents, internal staff and contractors, you can ensure the program runs smoothly and all parties have the necessary information to successfully participate.
- Staffing availability and capacity. Having a designated go-to member or staff who is familiar with the program to answer questions, monitor progress and handle inquiries allows for a more efficient process. Ensure you have the staffing capacity to manage the program and make necessary adjustments prior to launch.
The Flood Action Rebate was well received by the community and a similar program can be adapted to fit the needs of many other municipalities. In a post rebate survey, it was found that nearly 30% of participants would not have made flood prevention upgrades to their properties without the assistance of the rebate, demonstrating the importance of programs like this at the municipal level. To further climate resilience in the area, the City of Charlottetown is now working towards developing a Climate Action Plan.
Read more on how the City of Charlottetown's Flood Risk Reduction Rebate Program is supporting residents to ensure homes have adequate flood prevention meansures in place.