New Brunswick to set caps on disaster financial assistance for homeowners

FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government is capping financial compensation for properties that repeatedly experience damage from similar climate-related disasters.

Public Safety Minister Kris Austin said today the changes, which take effect immediately, will increase to $200,000 the total a homeowner can claim for disasters such as flooding and coastal storm surge, up from $160,000.

But once the $200,000 limit has been reached for incidents of the same nature, the property will have a notice placed on the provincial land registry indicating it's ineligible for assistance after a similar disaster.

Austin gives the example of a property damaged three times by overland flooding resulting in two claims of $60,000 and one for $80,000; if the home were flooded a fourth time, the owners would not be eligible for aid.

He says the changes also include increasing the maximum payout for structural damage and lowering the threshold at which the government would buy out homeowners affected by floods.

Austin says the program is designed to help homeowners get out of harm's way and ensure the taxpayer is not repeatedly paying for the same homes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2023.

The Canadian Press