Windsor residents deal with widespread flooding in the city, August 29, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Dora Amelia Belanger)

Windsor Approves Full Basement Subsidy

Flood victims in Windsor will soon be getting additional help.

Windsor City Council unanimously approved a motion Monday night to put $7.2-million into the basement flooding subsidy program in an effort to help flooded-out residents move forward with repairs, following the August 29 rainfall, which yielded the worst flooding in city history. The motion allows people to receive full coverage for backflow valves and sump pump installation up to $2,800. Previously, the subsidy covered just 80% of those costs.

The motion also allows residents to go with a fast-track option to begin repair work right away if they wish and be reimbursed later, according to Mayor Drew Dilkens.

“‘[If] the carpet is out, the floor is exposed in the basement and they want to get going with getting their lives back together in the home, they can call the contractor, get the building permit, have the contractor come out and do the work and we’ll ensure you get your money back to you,” says Dilkens.

While the mayor acknowledges there may be risk to the fast-track approaches, Dilkens says that should be minimized if the homeowner sets up the permit and has an experienced plumber come in and complete the work.

“Use a reputable plumbing contractor, someone who knows the systems you have in your house and can identify the systems that you have in your house,” says Dilkens. “Once you get your building permit and have the work done, you’ll get your money back.”

Dilkens says people can go through the regular process if they wish, which involves having a courtesy inspection, but the mayor warns it may take longer since there are now over 1,500 applicants for the subsidy. If there is a greater demand than that for the subsidy, Dilkens says council will re-evaluate as needed.

One key point of council’s motion Monday is a provision introduced by Ward 6 Councillor Jo-Anne Gignac, which would be to include crawlspaces among areas of the home that can be covered under the subsidy.

Dilkens says he is confident that with the expanded subsidy, more people will take advantage.

“We’ve only had 7% uptake so far,” says Dilkens. “I think those who’ve used it… we want more people to subscribe to it.”

For the latest on the basement subsidy program, click here.