Yesterday, MPP Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry was in Wheatley to announce a provincial commitment of additional financial support for Wheatley. In addition to the funds announced in September to help the businesses of Wheatley, yesterday’s announced funds are to help displaced residents.
Every household situation will be unique. Households in the current evacuation zone will be required to submit an application form that includes proof of their Wheatley residency on August 26, 2021. Households applying for additional housing costs will be required to submit pre-evacuation monthly housing costs, housing costs during the evacuation period, and if they have an insurance policy, proof of insurance will be required. Employment and Social Services case managers will begin working with displaced families to complete the application process.
Households that remain evacuated will receive emergency funds up to $3,000 per household, plus an additional $1,500 for each member of the household. These funds can be used to pay for any expenses including food, clothing, or household items and receipts will not be required. Evacuated residents who have relocated to permanent housing may also receive up to $8,000 for one-time housing costs and up to $4,000 for additional relocation expenses, receipts will be required. Evacuated residents in temporary accommodations may receive up to $4,000 per month for rent from September 2021 through to March 2022, receipts will be required.
Work continues as the municipality implements the process for property owners to safely access their properties. Yesterday, thirteen homes were inspected with the owner's permission to determine if the premises were safe. Inspection representatives included an air monitoring expert, a building compliance officer and a technical advisor.
Today, five homeowners will be able to enter their homes that were deemed safe from yesterday’s evaluation. In addition to the homeowner, on-site representatives included the insurance agent, contractor for winterization, and movers to potentially assist with refrigerators and freezer removal. “We are very pleased with the temporary re-entry process that has been developed. Home safety inspections will continue, and we will be reaching out to the remaining homeowners for further on-site visits as we work through the process. said Thomas Kelly, General Manager of Infrastructure and Engineering Services.