Effective Property Buyouts for Flood Risk Reduction

flooded homeMaking Canadian communities flood resilient requires using a full range of tools to protect people and property. Together with diverse stakeholders from across Canada, Partners for Action is leading an applied research project on managed retreat from high-risk flood areas through property buyouts that move people out of harm’s way. To implement buyouts effectively, decision-makers require evidence-based policy advice about how to design programs that maximize economic efficiency, political viability and social acceptability. With grant funding from the Max Bell Foundation, this project will draw lessons from current and past buyout programs and highlight the tradeoffs that governments must consider when designing new programs.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

  1. generate new knowledge by critically evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of past property buyout programs in Canadian communities;
  2. engage target audiences to identify enabling conditions that strengthen the efficiency, social acceptability, and political viability of property buyout programs; and,
  3. equip policymakers and practitioners with evidence-based guidance about how to design and implement effective property buyout programs.

Managed Retreat from High-risk Flood Areas: Design Considerations for Effective Property Buyout Programs

Where have property buyouts occurred in Canada?

The map below shows where property buyout initiatives have historically been implemented in Canada. As of 2020, a number of other tentative property buyout programs are under development or being considered for flood risk reduction.

*Markers on the map show the approximate location of where the buyout programs were implemented.

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Disclaimer: This resource is for educational purposes only. It is not intended for commercial use and cannot be used for resale or distribution for other purposes. Partners for Action and the University of Waterloo do not take responsibility for the verification of the information identified in this map or to any amended versions disseminated by its users. Please note that the map comprises data that was gathered in 2020. The data presented here is not exhaustive. (Map created by Andrea Minano. Data gathering completed by Leah Whittaker and Sarah Wilkinson)