There is technology currently available in Australia to raise brick and stone buildings including slab on grade construction. Similar to wood frame ‘Queenslanders’ these buildings can be raised above the flood level with the ground storey reserved for car parking or other ‘flood tolerant’ uses. Raising of buildings has the added benefit of being applicable to existing houses or commercial premises and is directly adding value to the property in question.
This ideas has been successfully implemented in the US after Hurricane Katrina.
Funding options include:
- Self-funding by the property owner
- Government assistance through grants or low interest loans (this approach has been adopted by the US government)
- Stakeholder contribution such as mortgage holders or insurance companies
Governments at all levels are likely to be concerned about inequity in treatment of constituents on flood planes compared with those on the high ground given that the proposed approach results in added value to the property. But this can be mitigated by application of a caveat on the property, requiring payment for the raising work on the sale of the property. In this way, the house is safe from future inundation and the government is returned its contribution in due course. The owner wins as the property doesn’t get wet and is not out of pocket for the work and the eventual repayment to the government is offset by the increased sale price of the flood proof house.