Effective Property Buyouts for Flood Risk Reduction

Flooded neighbourhood with trees in the early spring.

Making 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.

Read the Report

Buying Out the Floodplain: Recommendations for Strategic Relocation Programs in Canada | Acheter la plaine inondable : recommandations pour les programmes de relocalisation stratégique au Canada

Related publications and resources

Planned Retreat NRCan Report

Search the Database

Where have property buyout programs occurred in Canada? As part of our research, we created a database of previously implemented property buyout programs.

A map of Canada showing where property buyout initiatives have taken place throughout the country as of 2020