Town of Oliver residents eligible for disaster financial assistance

Finances for flood victims

Residents of the Town of Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are now eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) for damages incurred during the most recent flooding events between April 27 and May 16.

The Town of Oliver has been granted eligibility to apply for assistance as one of the hardest hit places in the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen. Although municipalities across the southeast and central BC are eligible as well.

DFA is available for homeowners, residential tenants, local governments, farmers, and Indigenous communities that were not able to receive insurance for damages to cover the flood related losses.

The DFA is not available for individual losses “for which insurance was reasonably and readily available”.

The applications for the DFA must be submitted to the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness within 90 days of the event declaration. This means that applications for financial assistance must be in by August 14, 2023.

If the claim is accepted the program provides 80 per cent of the total eligible amount between $1,000 and $400,000. Claims can also be made in more than one category, such as homeowner and farm owner.

If claims are going through the homeowner or residential tenant category it must be a primary residence to qualify, seasonal or recreational properties are ineligible.

The program describes the DFA as limited to restoring damage caused by the disaster declared eligible. It is intended to compensate for unexpected and uninsurable losses which may include building repairs, replacement of personal effects, equipment and inventory and clean up and debris removal among others.

The Town of Oliver requested that the province make the flood event which occurred May 6, a disaster eligible event which impacted at least five properties and two houses.

Adam Goodwin, the Emergency Program Coordinator with the Town of Oliver, presented his monthly status report to council which focused primarily on how the town is dealing with the aftermath of the recent flooding.

He did note that “in terms of volume of water, the creek has seen similar volumes before but there were aspects of the infrastructure that just did not hold up to the pressure.” Further explaining that because of this they are now working with engineers on a long term plan for the area and creek infrastructure.

Wolf Cub Creek had a surge and began flooding around 2 p.m. on Saturday May 6 and Goodwin applauded all the volunteers who helped to lay sandbags that day and confirmed the town is now working with the province to conduct a formal after action review.

The Disaster Financial Assistance application can be found here and more information can be found on the province’s Emergency Management and Climate Readiness webpage.

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