Calgary council committee votes to support over $2M for hail-resistant roof rebates

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Residents began cleaning up in Calgary on June 14, 2020, after a major hailstorm caused widespread damage and flooding. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Residents began cleaning up in Calgary on June 14, 2020, after a major hailstorm caused widespread damage and flooding. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The City of Calgary's priorities and finance committee voted Tuesday to support over $2 million in funding for a roof rebate program designed to help reduce the number of houses that suffer damage during major hailstorms.

The program would allow Calgarians to apply for $3,000 to cover some costs of installing roofs built from hail-resistant materials, and would expand over the course of three years to include new homes.

It is under consideration after hailstorms in the summer of 2020 damaged approximately 32,000 homes in Calgary, most of them in the city's northeast.

With about $1.4 billion in damages, it was one of the costliest natural disasters in Canadian history. Of that figure, the city estimates $800 million of the damage was to roofs.

"This program will make Calgary a more resilient city by educating homeowners and industry on the value of resilient materials," said Kris Dietrich, a co-ordinator with Calgary Building Services.

Invoices will be required for rebate

The first six months of the roofing rebate program would open to homeowners who were impacted by hailstorms in 2020 and subsequently replaced their roofs with resilient materials. It would be retroactive from June 2020.

The program would then expand to include all Calgary homeowners who want to upgrade their roofs with resilient materials.

"Storms don't hit by neighbourhoods or by quadrants," Dietrich said. "And we wanted to make sure we were building resilience throughout the entire city."

It is estimated that about 660 rebates could be issued in the first year of the program. Condos, however, would be excluded.

Applications would be required for homeowners to qualify, and decisions on rebates would be made on a first-come, first-served basis.

The work would also need to be done by a certified installer, and the property owner would pay the costs upfront. A rebate cheque would be sent to the property owner when the work is completed.

A monitoring report for the program's progress would be due in 2022, and if continuation of the program is approved, its third year would include roofing for new homes.

The program will now go to city council in May for further discussion.