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Pierrefonds flood victim denied exception to rebuild house but says fight isn’t over

Click to play video 'Pierrefonds flood victim hopes to rebuild home' Pierrefonds flood victim hopes to rebuild home
A Pierrefonds man who was hoping to rebuild his home, which was damaged by floods in May 2017, has hit a wall. André Lavigne recently found out that the province says he doesn't have the right to ask to rebuild but as Global's Billy Shields explains, Lavigne still has hope.

André Lavigne has been waiting a year and a half to find out whether he will be able to rebuild his home after it was destroyed by flooding in May 2017. Now, it seems, he may be waiting longer still.

In hopes of rebuilding his home, Lavigne requested an exception to a provincial decree that requires homeowners whose property damages amount to more than half the assessed value of their house to take a compensation cheque — capped at $250,000 — and walk away from the property.

Lavigne recently received a letter denying his request for an exception to the provincial decree but he is not giving up hope.

Two committees wrote to Lavigne saying he couldn’t receive an exception because his home wasn’t a historic structure.

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“These committees have no names, nobody can talk to them even the people sitting at that table do not know who they are,” he said.

He was also disappointed with the length of the process.

“I mean it’s 18 months to tell me I didn’t qualify in the first place? It’s a little ridiculous,” he said.

But Lavigne hasn’t given up hope and has instead floated two potential alternatives.

According to his current property assessment, the damage covers 57 per cent of its value, however Lavigne says that assessment failed to account for a second floor, which he hopes will change the overall property assessment.

If the plan works, Lavigne could fill his lot in and rebuild. Another potential work-around, he says, would be to rebuild a house closer to the street, but these plans require reassessment and further paperwork.

Lavigne says he plans on spending his winter in the shell of his damaged home.