More than half of the estimated $1.4 billion in damage from a June hailstorm was to Calgary roofs and that’s prompted a proposal for a rebate to city homes upgrading to impact resistant shingles.
Last year, thousands of homes were damaged in a June hailstorm that pummelled northeast and parts of southeast Calgary.
Many of those homes were in Coun. George Chahal’s Ward 5. In July last year, Chahal pushed the city to find ways they could mitigate the costly damage from future severe weather events.
In Tuesday’s Priorities and Finance committee, city administration will put forth a 12-point plan to do so.
There are 12 action items in the roofing and siding plan, with seven of those dedicated to education. The city wants to engage homeowners, the development industry and other stakeholders around improving the resilience of Calgary homes.
The plan also includes the installation of a hail monitoring network that could extend westward to provide advanced notice. Further, they’re drafting building code submissions that could be applicable for hail zone homes.
“We do need to have a discussion and educate the public and stakeholders of the importance of these weather-related events,” Chahal told LiveWire Calgary on Friday.
“Calgary is in the heart of hailstorm alley.”
He said the city needs to initiate these conversations around more resilient building materials. They’ll also be learning more about the implementation costs and the impact on home costs.
More than $800 million in damage to roofs
Chahal said that hail damage to roofs was by far the costliest. He said roughly $800 million of the June 2020 damage was to roofs.
He said by incenting the replacement of roofs to more resilient shingles they hope to get the ball rolling on more Calgarians making the upgrade.
Part of the city’s strategy is a proposed $2,000 rebate for roof replacement costs. The homeowner would have to upgrade to impact resistant (Class IV asphalt) shingles. Along with the rebate, the city’s hoping to create a sample pilot that would qualify for reduced insurance premiums.
They want at least 50 homes in each of the city’s four quadrants to participate. Beneficiaries and eligibility criteria will be determined in April, according to city documents.
Chahal said the city hopes to step up and he’s calling on the province to do the same.
“We do need the province to step in and support initiatives like this, and offer further tax incentives or credits when homeowners are upgrading to more resilient building products,” he said.
Work ongoing in the northeast
Chahal said there’s a lot of construction underway in the northeast right now. Siding is being replaced and roofs are being repaired.
There’s also still a lot of unrepaired damage, he said.
“I’m hoping over the next number of months as the weather has gotten better that we can continue to see our community fully rebuilt and we can move forward,” Chahal said.
Chahal said a roundtable with insurance providers a few months back helped square away some of the lingering issues around claims. He said they took that information back and started implementing program that could improve the process.
“I think they’ve been going through the process and we have seen a lot of that money flow into the pockets of the residents so they can repair their homes,” he said.
“I think early on we just had a large volume also of claims that were being processed. It took them some time to catch up and resolve.”